By Graham Rapier / www.supplychain247.com / June 5th, 2015
Seventeen lawmakers from both sides of the aisle in Congress have introduced legislation to provide federal transportation funding for the long-term.
There hasn’t been a long-term solution for funding the repair and continuation of America’s crumbling transportation infrastructure for six years, but that could all be about to change.
Seventeen lawmakers from both sides of the aisle in Congress have introduced legislation to provide federal transportation funding in the long-term, with Congressman Reid Ribble (R-Wis.) in the driver’s seat.
“The Bridge to Sustainable Infrastructure Act,” as it’s being touted by supporters, “would require Congress to make the Highway Trust Fund financially sound for at least ten years,” according to a release from Ribble’s office (see sidebar below).
The Highway Trust Fund is financed solely by the gas tax, and has not kept up with inflation.
First implemented in 1932, the tax has been stagnant at 18.4-cents per gallon since 1993.
Revenue from the gas tax currently only finances about two-thirds of federal transportation spending.
Ribble’s solution involves bridging this funding gap through “a combination of spending cuts and new revenue streams,” according to the release. In a CNBC op-ed published Wednesday, Ribble said that the gap would be shrunk “with extensive consolidation of programs and an aggressive streamlining review process.”
The bill is supported by many organizations that rely on infrastructure to do business, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Trucking Association and the AFL-CIO. But Ribble knows there’s a steep climb ahead for his legislation.
“This legislation isn’t glamorous,” the congressman wrote, “and won’t be popular with my colleagues in Congress, but I didn’t come to Washington to make friends.”
Source: Business Insider
Ribble, Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Introduce Long-Term Solution for Highway Trust Fund
U.S. Representative Reid Ribble (WI-08) with Reps. Jim Renacci (OH-16), Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), and Dan Lipinski (IL-03) today led a group of 14 of their colleagues in introducing H.R. 1846, the Bridge to Sustainable Infrastructure Act.
The legislation forces Congress to finally find a long-term solution to secure funding for our roads and bridges.
“Our roads and bridges are vitally important, but they aren’t free, and for the past seven years, the bill has gone unpaid,” Ribble said. “I am very proud to be working with Reps. Renacci, Pascrell, and Lipinski to finally put Congress on notice: we have exactly one year to consider all the solutions, and find a way to make the Highway Trust Fund solvent.
This isn’t an easy or popular process, but our transportation infrastructure is vital to our nation, and finding solutions and taking hard votes are what we were sent to Washington to do.”
The Bridge to Sustainable Infrastructure Act, H.R. 1846, would require Congress to make the Highway Trust Fund, the funding mechanism for all federal transportation infrastructure, financially sound for at least ten years.
Currently, we are spending $16 billion more per year than is being paid in through the gas tax, so a combination of spending cuts and new revenue streams will be required to balance the books in the long term.
The Bridge to Sustainable Infrastructure Act encourages Congress to consider a wide range of potential solutions for cost-cutting and revenue, including corporate tax repatriation and ending the gas tax in favor of a fee based on vehicle miles traveled.
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