Highway Trust Fund projected to go bankrupt at end of August

Highway Trust Fund projected to go bankrupt at end of August

The Department of Transportation says that based on current spending and revenue, the Highway Trust Fund will likely run out of money in late August, before the end of the fiscal year. The updated estimate came out last week.

The Highway Account began the fiscal year with $1.6 billion, and $9.7 billion was transferred from the General Fund. The Highway Trust Fund had $8.4 billion as of March 28, but the money scheduled to be spent on transportation projects for the rest of the year exceeds that amount.

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said the report –should be a wake-up call to Congress. The Highway Trust Fund is heading toward an avoidable crisis as early as July, and if we donêt act, could lead to a construction shutdown on our nationês roads and bridges.”

In July, the fundês level is projected to go below $4 billion, and state and local officials would have to start canceling infrastructure projects, according to transportation experts.

The problem is that the gas tax, which normally funds highway and road construction, brings in only about $34 billion a year. Another $100 billion would have to be authorized to pay for the six-year transportation bill that experts believe is needed, according to the Congressional Budget Office. President Obama and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) have offered different budget proposals that would deal with the funding deficit.

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