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Washington, D.C. - The Infrastructure Bill has been delayed yet again, even prompting a much needed Saturday Night Live parody . The delays are almost certain given the diverse politicians, current volatile economy and technology’s rapid evolution. The exact fate of the Infrastructure Bill and its eventual outcome remain technically unknown, but the majority of the consensus can agree that the country is playing with fire at this point by delaying critical infrastructure and playing with borderline negligence as known safety concerns are becoming absolutely necessary when it comes to safety. The Department of Transportation furloughed approximately 3,700 employees on Friday after Congress failed to pass a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that included a funding extension for federal highways.
The agency stated in a statement that it is coordinating with Congress to restore transportation funding as quickly as possible. Democratic leaders in the House and Senate announced on Friday that they are preparing a 30-day re-authorization in the event that lawmakers fail to pass the infrastructure bill and on Saturday, a temporary measure was approved to reinstate the 3,700 Department of Transportation employees.
The fate of $50 billion in federal surface transportation programs supported by the Highway Trust Fund that were suspended are still unknown.
The majority of those furloughed employees work for the Federal Highway Administration, which distributes federal funds to state transportation departments for road and transit projects. State transportation officials warned that a prolonged funding shortfall could cause critical projects to be delayed.
Congress can only extend transportation funding for a maximum of 30 days without increasing transportation funding.
The failure of the bipartisan infrastructure bill to pass, over which House Democrats remain divided, continues to frustrate.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials issued a statement condemning Congress’ failure to pass the bill as “unacceptable.”