U.S. Senate Votes to Block FHWA Greenhouse Gas Rule

On April 10, the U.S. Senate invoked the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) greenhouse gas rule

The measure passed the Senate 53-47, with Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.), and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) joining every Republican in support.

In support of member interests, AGC has advocated to block this rule in the courts and in Congress.

This rule would have forced states to spend their federal-aid highway funds, meant for road and bridge construction, to pay for buses, Amtrak trains, and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations (i.e. non-construction activities).

Two judges ruled that FHWA lacked the authority to create the rule and one judge vacated the rule nationwide.

So why did the Senate vote to block a rule that a judge had already blocked? There is a belief that the Biden Administration will appeal the court decision and opponents of the rule wanted to create a congressional record that a majority of both chambers were opposed to this rule.

The CRA resolution will now go to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration, but the White House has already declared that the president will veto it. The CRA votes are still significant, even if the resolution is vetoed, as courts in the past have cited the CRA votes as evidence that Congress agrees. AGC will keep you updated on any further action with this rule.

For additional information, please contact Alex Etchen.

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