The long-term transportation bill that is projected to pass Congress later this week includes several provisions by Missouri’s two U.S. senators and state leaders, a few of which have little to do with highways.
Among them is re-authorization of the Export-Import bank, whose charter expired earlier this year. Additionally, the bill repeals a controversial measure of a five-week-old budget agreement that would cut federal spending on crop insurance.
Republican Roy Blunt and Democrat Claire McCaskill teamed up to co-sponsor The Grid Reliability Act, aimed at ensuring power utilities don’t run afoul of environmental regulations when operating under orders from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to improve power grid reliability, especially at times of peak demand for electricity.
The provisions are included in a massive $305 billion, five-year highway plan that critics say includes “budget gimmicks.” Some funding would come from places other than gas taxes and other funds directly linked to transportation. If approved, this would be the first long-term highway funding bill since 2009.