A $284 billion highway bill has been approved by the United States House of Representatives 417-9. Approved March 10, the six-year legislation reauthorizes the federal-aid surface transportation program through fiscal year 2009. It also reauthorizes appropriations from the Highway Trust Fund for specified highway (including highway safety) programs, research and technology, motor carrier transportation and safety, and transportation research and education.
This package also subjects Mexican and Canadian truck drivers to background checks like those now required by US hazardous materials drivers.
The Senate now considers the legislation. After the Senate marks up its version of the bill, the legislation will go to a joint House/Senate conference committee for further action. The highway bill has been extended numerous times — the latest deadline is May 31, 2005.