The Senate Finance Committee put the last puzzle piece in place last night when they voted the revenue portions of S. 1813, MAP-21, out of committee. The committee voted 17-6, with four Republicans voting with Democrats, in order to complete the last step before the legislation could reach the Senate floor. Senators will now vote on a motion to proceed, or invoke cloture, at 2pm Thursday. When this motion receives 60 votes, the Senate will be able to begin debate on “Moving Ahead for Progress in the Twenty-First Century”, or MAP-21.
Senators must vote on four different portions of the legislation. First up will be the policy portion that was reported from the Environment and Public Works Committee, followed by the transit title from the Banking Committee, then the revenue title that was reported from Finance, and last but not least, safety measures from the Commerce Committee. Many expect the legislation to be on the Senate floor until President’s Day recess, which will begin at the end of next week.
The Senate’s action this week means that both chambers will be debating surface transportation legislation on their respective floors next week. After years of inaction on the topic, surface transportation has finally become priority number one in Congress!