House Rejects Colorado Provisions in Highway Bill

Senate-Passed Bill Included Bennet-Udall Measure to Improve Rural Water Infrastructure 

Bennet Proposal to Treat LNG Equally to Diesel Fuel also in Bill

Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall today denounced the vote in the House of Representatives to strip provisions important to Coloradans from the bill to sustain the Highway Trust Fund through the end of the year.

The Senate passed its bill Tuesday with a bipartisan Bennet-Udall measure to improve rural water infrastructure. The bill also included Bennet’s bipartisan provision to allow liquefied natural gas (LNG) to compete fairly with diesel fuel. The House needed to make one correction to the Senate version of the bill to extend the highway fund for about two months. It was not necessary to strip the Colorado provisions from the bill.

“We are extremely disappointed that these two Colorado priorities were stripped in the House of Representatives. They’ve done a disservice to Coloradans by rejecting these two measures,” Bennet said. “The bipartisan provisions are important to Colorado’s agriculture and energy industries. They’re key to rural communities across the country, as well as energy producers and conservationists alike. Instead of simply making minor and necessary fixes, the House chose to reject these Colorado priorities as well.”

“The U.S. Senate passed a common-sense bill two days ago — with broad bipartisan support — to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent and strengthen the water infrastructure Colorado farmers count on every day. The U.S. House of Representatives' rejection of the Senate bill today endangers ditch and irrigation companies' abilities to update critical water infrastructure,” Udall said. “I have been proud to champion this common-sense reform, and I am concerned the House has not stood with Colorado farmers and water managers to update our vital infrastructure. Coloradans expect better from their leaders, and I will keep fighting to get this done.”

During the Senate Finance Committee’s consideration of the package, Bennet secured a bipartisan bill cosponsored by Udall that would reform outdated tax provisions that hinder ditch and irrigation companies’ ability to invest in in their infrastructure and serve Colorado farmers. Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) is also a cosponsor.

Bennet also secured a bipartisan proposal he introduced with Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to allow liquefied natural gas (LNG) to compete fairly with diesel fuel. It would require that LNG be taxed on energy output rather than per gallon.

Bennet and Udall worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure the provisions remained in the bill during debate in the full Senate.