With Highway Trust Fund insolvency just nine weeks away, Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden offered a $9 billion plan as a short-time fix. If passed, this six-month funding proposal would give Congress time to find a long-term, sustainable funding source for the Highway Trust Fund. However, not all members are pleased with the option of relying on quick fixes and patches.
The funding mechanisms themselves are also being heavily debated, as some have rallied around Senators Corker’s and Murphy’s suggestion to raise that gas tax 12 cents and tie it to inflation. The Los Angeles Times offered context to the last time the gas tax was raised over 20 years ago. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette declared that “a bump at the pump might be worth more than failing roads,” in an editorial written the same day that ASCE members in Pennsylvania released their Infrastructure Report Card giving the state seven Ds, including the roads and bridges sectors.
Pleas continue from mayors and governors, explaining how the Highway Trust Fund’s shortfall would stunt local economies and hurt transportation projects. These concerns come as DOT Secretary Foxx wrote a letter to local elected officials cautioning that the Mass Transit Account also faces insolvency before the end of the year.
If you believe the American people deserve better, take action by writing to your members of Congress and signing the petition voicing that we are counting on them to fix the Trust Fund.