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This Week in Infrastructure: Finding Funding for the Highway Trust Fund

May 9, 2014

The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing this week on “new routes for funding and financing highways and transit.” This effort included warnings from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that $13 to $18 billion will be needed each year to maintain the current funding levels the Highway Trust Fund provides. Sen. Boxer (D-CA) responded with a promise to have her bill out next week.

As elected officials continue to explore options and offer solutions, including a proposed change to the TIGER Grant program, warnings continue of what is at stake. (Spoiler alert: it’s a lot.) This issue affects all Americans and it’s a ‘toll’ we’re all paying for in one way or another.

So how exactly did we get here? Vox has an explanation in six charts.

This week also saw some discussion on raising the gas tax (from the media, not so much from politicians) including CNBC, CNN Money and Al Jazeera America. The Washington Post offers a great explanation of how inflation, not efficiency, has led us to this transportation funding cliff. And the discussion of tolls as a funding mechanism continued from last week, an option that may be more appealing to Congress during an election year.

Discussion is vital, but we need continued leadership and action to secure a reliable funding mechanism. As states, including Oregon, brace for transportation projects without federal funding dollars from the Highway Trust Fund it is time to #FixtheTrustFund.

1 Comment
  • Alfred Berry, Jr

    It seems as though the U.S. Government can help fund everyone else problems except our own. It is amazing that grown men and women sent to do a job in Washington that they say they want to do is to immature and pigheaded to see past the colors Red and Blue which doesn’t mean a thing in the grand scheme of life. I implore each member of Congress to remember the oath they took and why they went to Washington in the first place and do what’s right for the American people (we who pay your exorbitant salaries) and our country because it truly is falling apart.

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