WASHINGTON (July 23, 2015) — The U.S. Senate voted 62-36 to invoke cloture and proceed to floor consideration of S. 22, its six-year transportation funding reauthorization bill.
The successful vote came one day after a 41-56 vote against proceeding to debate on the measure. Some senators, especially Democrats, objected that they received the text of the 1,000-plus-page bill only one hour before the scheduled vote. Under Senate rules, 60 votes are necessary to invoke cloture.
Though a six-year reauthorization, the legislation is funded only for three years, providing about $47 billion through changes to Social Security and other government programs. It contains a provision — supported by tire manufacturers but opposed by tire dealer groups — which among other things would require independent tire dealers and auto repairers to register every tire they sell, then transmit the information electronically to tire manufacturers.
The House of Representatives has already passed an $8.1 billion stopgap bill that would fund highway projects until Dec. 18. Current funding runs out July 31.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents 1.4 million members throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, weighed in on the highway funding debate, issuing a statement calling for Congress to finally “buckle down” and find a long-term answer to the nation's infrastructure needs.