Out of Control Policy Blog

And Let the Games Begin with Transportation Funding

Yesterday Secretary LaHood went to Capitol Hill to request an 18 month replenishment and extension for the highway trust fund, as announced here.  

The fund is about to go broke again, as I predicted before. 

Secretary LaHood is correct:

“Passing transportation legislation in Congress is a complicated process"

The highway trust fund is supported by taxes on fuel. But, since folks are buying less gasoline, the fund does not have enough money to keep up with commitments. The stimulus money is outside of this fund.

Secretary LaHood said:

The Fund is likely to run out of money once again, and soon. Expenditures will stop; states will be in danger of losing the vital transportation funding they need and expect; projects will shut down; jobs will be lost.

That's the road we're on right now. Once again, the Highway Trust Fund will need a massive cash infusion.

Time is running out, and the Highway Trust Fund must be made solvent. Then, and only then, can this country get the kind of thorough transportation discussion needed to address our infrastructure investments in a smarter, more focused way, a way that best meets the real demands of the country.

Today, Jim Oberstar, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, will unveil his plan for reauthorization of funding for transportation. He aims to pass the legislation before the September 30 deadline. 

Let the games begin!

Shirley Ybarra is Senior Transportation Policy Analyst


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