President Obama on Friday signed a $10.8 billion measure that will fund highway and bridge repairs for the next 10 months.
The short-term measure, approved by lawmakers last month, is paid for using a budgeting maneuver called pension smoothing, which allows corporations to reduce their contributions to employee retirement plans. By allowing companies to do so, the government can boost tax revenues since companies are no longer eligible for tax deductions.
The Highway Trust Fund risked running out of money this month had lawmakers not approved additional funding, endangering thousands of construction projects and jobs.
While the president supported the measure, he also told Congress it "shouldn't pat itself on the back for averting disaster for a few months, kicking the can down the road for a few months, careening from crisis to crisis when it comes to something as basic as our infrastructure" during a speech last month.
During a speech earlier this week, Vice President Biden bemoaned that lawmakers had not passed a long-term solution.
“Hell, Congress can’t even decide on a gas tax to keep the highway system going,” Biden said.