By Miles Moore, Senior Washington Reporter
WASHINGTON (July 22, 2015) — The Senate failed to invoke cloture July 21 on a six-year, 1,000-plus-page highway reauthorization bill.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., needed 60 votes to proceed to a vote on the measure, but the July 21 vote was 41-56. Senate Democrats, in particular, complained they had received the text of the bill only one hour before the vote.
Sen. McConnell said he would try to schedule another cloture vote July 22.
Although the bill is a six-year funding reauthorization, it only authorizes enough money for six years of highway funding through $47 billion in spending offsets.
According to sources, the package contains a provision included in several other transportation bills requiring independent tire dealers and auto repairers to register every tire they sell and transmit the information electronically to tire manufacturers.
The measure is supported by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), which says it provides a necessary fix to chronically low tire registration rates.
However, the Tire Industry Association (TIA) disagrees with the RMA about the registration rates, and insists the bill would create an untenable burden for tire dealers.
On July 21, TIA joined with the Safety Institute and Families for Safer Recalls in calling for requirements for mechanical readability of tires to increase recovery in tire recalls. TIA and Sean Kane, founder and president of the board of directors of the Safety Institute and founder of Safety Research & Strategies Inc., have usually disagreed in the past about tire safety issues.
Current transportation funding runs out July 31. The House of Representatives has already passed an $8.1 billion funding extension that would run until Dec. 18, an action praised by few.
“With another short-term bandage in hand, Congress must now use the time in earnest and work every day of the next five months to pass a well-funded, multiyear surface transportation reauthorization,” said Robyn Boerstling, director of transportation and infrastructure policy for the National Association of Manufacturers, in a July 15 statement.