House committee sets hearing on transportation bill
In another effort to address the pending May 31 expiration of funding for the transportation bill, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has scheduled a hearing this week to discuss the billês reauthorization. Congress has passed only short-term fixes since 2009, and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and other transportation advocates have strongly urged lawmakers to pass a bill with long-term funding.
The Highway Trust Fund has always been used to fund infrastructure, but in recent years the money in the fund has not kept pace with needs partly because the gas tax has not been raised since 1993. The latest of several groups to lobby for an increase in the gas tax is the American Road & Transportation Builders Association. ARTBA is asking for a 15-cent hike in the tax, which it says would raise $401 billion for new transportation spending.
Executives from 250 Chambers of Commerce in all 50 states added their voices to the debate in a letter to Congress asking for a long-term transportation bill.
Without a sustainable source of funding, the [Highway Trust Fund] will be in a deep deficit that will require major cuts in federal highway and transit funding or a potential halt of the entire federal transportation program, said the March 3 letter.Download Bulletin PDF