ROADS/BRIDGES: US Transpo. Secretary sees lame duck session as opportunity

Oct. 17, 2014

Sec. Foxx continues to push GROW America agenda despite skepticism

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx recently commented to American University Radio (WAMU 88.5) that the imminent lame duck session of the U.S. Congress is an ample opportunity for a dynamic funding bill to be passed, effectively precluding the Highway Trust Fund from insolvency.

Echoing remarks made in a keynote address during the American Public Transportation Association’s Annual Meeting and Expo, Foxx was adamant that only through bipartisan support could an intelligent and useful funding package be ratified. “We have heard Speaker Boehner and budget chairman Paul Ryan indicating that they think a transportation bill can get done,” Foxx said on WAMU. “There continues to be a bipartisan interest in figuring a way forward. We are going to have to get through these elections and get Congress back in Washington to see how far we can take it.”

The Obama Administration has thrown its support behind the GROW America Act, a $302 billion proposal that would be funded, in part, via corporate tax reform. This corporate aspect may, perhaps, account for the GOP’s reticence to tow the line. Despite the urgency of the matter, officials doubt that transportation will see real discussion—or decision-making—before January 2015.

Yet despite this mitigation of the secretary’s optimism, Foxx continues to take his argument across the country, meeting state and local officials of both parties, in effort to push Congressional attention toward the trust fund, seemingly willing to use leaders’ constituencies as ballast.

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