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senate Finance Committee Acts on LNG Tax Penalty Issue

On Thursday, the Senate Finance Committee reported a bill, the Preserving America’s Transit and Highways Act (PATH Act), for consideration by the full Senate to allow the transfer of $10.8 billion for a cash-strapped highway account through next spring. The measure, sponsored by committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR.), takes a significant step to guarantee federal dollars reach the states to pay for large-scale infrastructure projects. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has told lawmakers the Highway Trust Fund is poised to fall short on cash in August, putting at risk hundreds of thousands of construction jobs. The measure includes the provision that would correct the LNG excise tax discrepancy (as we reported two weeks ago). The PATH Act does not address the extension of the alternative fuel and infrastructure credits. It is likely that the full Senate will consider this measure later this month.

Earlier in the day, the House Ways and Means Committee gave its approval to HR 5021, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 — legislation that also would provide about $10 billion to keep the cash-strapped Highway Trust Fund solvent for nearly a year. Despite strong objections raised by Democrats, the GOP-controlled panel easily reported the bill to the floor, and the full House is expected to take it up next week. The House measure does not address either the LNG excise tax discrepancy nor an extension of the alternative fuel and infrastructure credits.