ROADS/BRIDGES: House Ways & Means Committee to hold long-term highway financing meeting

Lawmakers are still exploring various ways to provide a sustainable long-term highway funding solution. 

June 17, 2015

The House Ways and Means Committee are scheduled to hold a hearing titled, “Long-term financing of the Highway Trust Fund.”

Congressional lawmakers are trying to negotiate a long-term funding extension before the expiration of current federal infrastructure funding on July 31.

Lawmakers are struggling with a shortage in transportation spending of approximately $16 billion per year, and have not passed an infrastructure package that lasts longer than two years since 2005.

The traditional source for transportation funding is revenue collected from the 18.4-cent-per-gallon federal gas tax, which has not been increased since 1993 and brings in about $34 billion per year, leaving the $16 billion deficit. 

However, lawmakers have been reluctant to increase the gas tax any more and are considering alternatives such as taxing overseas corporate revenue known as “repatriation", which the Obama administration has expressed support for. 

The Congressional Budget Office estimated it will take about $100 billion to close the gap long enough to pay for a six-year transportation funding bill.

Senate Democrats are giving Republicans 45 days to negotiate a long-term highway funding extension.