The House voted Tuesday to extend federal transportation funding for two months, in an attempt to prevent an interruption in the nation’s infrastructure funding at month’s end.
The decision to punt a long-term funding extension to the summer was approved by a 387-35 vote, over the objection of Democrats, who argued Congress should have found a way to pay for a longer-term extension.
“We have known for months that this day was coming, and yet we have made no progress finding a solution to funding highways, transit and other important surface transportation programs,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said during debate on the measure.
Twelve Republicans and 23 Democrats voted against the bill. Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) voted “present.”
Ahead of Tuesday’s vote, White House officials said President Obama is willing to sign the temporary transportation funding extension if it is passes the Senate later this week, even though he would prefer a longer-term solution.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in the House also said that, although they preferred a long-term extension, they nevertheless wanted to avoid missing the deadline.
“This two-month extension was not my preference,” said House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.). “My preference is to buckle down, work hard, find the dollars and have a long-term surface transportation bill that’s sustainable.”