With the expiration of of the MAP-21 transportation bill coming in September of next year, congressional talks about how to increase transportation funding are at a stalemate, reports our sister publication Better Roads.
Since its passing last summer, MAP-21 has been seen as only a temporary fix for the problem of transportation funding. Renewed focus has been placed on the problem since President Barack Obama stressed the importance of repairing the country’s failing infrastructure during his most State of the Union address.
The gas tax has been a popular point of discussion, but attempts at raising the tax, which hasn’t been raised since 1993, have been shot down by both Democrats and Republicans.
The President has proposed partially funding transportation with some of the money saved in withdrawing troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. That idea too has been unpopular with Congress.
The American Society of Civil Engineers recently gave American infrastructure a grade of D+. U.S. Roads were graded a D and bridges a C+. The ASCE has also said that infrastructure investment needs to be increased by 80 percent in the next seven years in order to simply maintain a state of “good repair.”
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster and his staff will start drafting a new transportation bill later this year.