Fiscal bills affecting construction are hung up; lending shrivels
Key financial, tax and spending legislation affecting construction remains hung up. Today the House rejected a financial rescue package, although the chamber is expected to reconvene on Wednesday. The House and Senate have been unable to agree on a bill to extend tax credits, due to expire at yearend, that have fueled construction of wind and solar power projects. Congress did pass a bill that would continue spending at current levels until March for discretionary spending, including highway and airport construction grants and direct federal spending on construction. President Bush is expected to sign the bill before spending authority expires at midnight Tuesday, September 30. In a conference call to states on September 22, the administrator of the Federal Highway Administration said the government projects that the highway account of the Highway Trust Fund will end fiscal 2009 (a year from tomorrow) with a balance of $1-2 billion, despite enactment this month of an $8 billion transfer from the general fund.