The Senate measure also would add about $3.4 billion from the general treasury to shore up the depleted Highway Trust Fund.
It would offset that loss of general revenues by temporarily prohibiting trust fund money from being used for non-highway purposes; suspending tax credits for certain kinds of fuels; cracking down on fuel fraud; raising the penalty tax on oil spills; and moving back by one year, to March 20, 2002, the effective date of a law (PL 108-357) that bars "corporate inversions," a restructuring whereby a group of companies avoid paying U.S. income taxes by setting up their parent corporation in tax-haven countries.
The Finance markup had been delayed because of a tiff over railroad funding.
Soon after the panel met Sept. 20, an unnamed senator invoked a Senate rule preventing committees from meeting after the chamber has been in session for two hours. The rule is typically waived each day by unanimous consent.
The rule was invoked when it became clear that Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., planned to offer an amendment that would authorize some $2.7 billion in bonding authority through 2010 for intercity passenger rail.
The rail bonding amendment was adopted Sept. 21 by voice vote. John Kerry, D-Mass., offered it because Lott was out of town giving a speech with former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota (1987-2005).