ROADS/BRIDGES: Key senator skeptical of Obama’s transpo plan

One-time cash infusion is not the long-term solution

News The Hill May 08, 2014
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The road and bridge network in the U.S. need more than a one-time fix.


But if Congress works to approve President Barack Obama’s $302 billion transportation bill, that is exactly what they are getting, according to Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.).


Thune, the top-ranking Republican on the Senate transportation committee, said on May 7 he did not think Obama’s strategy was the way to go. Obama wants lawmakers to use $150 billion from a corporate tax-reform package to help resuscitate the Highway Trust Fund, which is scheduled to go broke by August.


“This aspect of the plan is unlikely to secure broad support in Congress and fails to provide a longer-term funding solution for these vital programs,” he said.


Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the one-time infusion of funds is design to prevent a shutdown of transportation projects this summer.


“June and July is prime time for state DOTs to start letting contracts, and facing the kind of uncertainty that is ahead of us, many of those contracts will not be signed, which will mean work will not go forward,” Foxx said.


Thune wants the Obama administration to push for an increase in the federal gas tax, but the White House is leaving that up to Congress to sort out.

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