Senator Udall Votes for Temporary Extension of Highway Trust Fund, Urges Congress to Work on Robust Solution for Long-Term Highway Funding

Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall expressed his disappointment in Congress’ failure to pass a responsible long-term bill to fund highways and other infrastructure ahead of a July 31 deadline. Udall voted against a Senate-drafted proposal that would extend federal transportation programs for six years but provide funding only for three years. The bipartisan leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives refused to take up the Senate bill, which Udall also said failed to include sufficient funding and important safety provisions. Later in the day, he joined the Senate in voting 91-4 to extend the expiring Highway Trust Fund until the end of October so the House and Senate can continue negotiations over a better, longer-term agreement. He issued the following statement:

“New Mexico, like many other regions of the country, is facing a crisis when it comes to its highways, roads and bridges. Repairs and updates are badly needed, but with the Highway Trust Fund running perpetually low, there’s never enough money to go around. Federal highway funding makes up 70 percent of New Mexico’s budget for roads — New Mexicans need Congress to agree on a forward-thinking plan that invests in transportation, safety and the future of our communities. Unfortunately, the long-term funding bill passed by the Senate today doesn’t fit that description, and it stands no chance of becoming law because the House won’t agree to it. Congress now has three months to craft a responsible plan to fund our nation’s highways, and I will keep working for a bill that provides long-term funding, strong safety standards and makes the investment needed to grow jobs in New Mexico and communities across the country.”