Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee has made it clear that saving the Highway Trust Fund is among her top priorities. In a letter to Congressman Dave Camp, Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, and Congressman Sander Levin, she urges for help in finding a long-term solution.
“Although Congress passed a short-term Highway Trust Fund patch and an extension of our surface transportation programs in MAP-21 through May 31, 2015, the longer we wait to find a long-term funding solution for our critical infrastructure the worse it will be,” Boxer writes.
If Congress waits until the last second before trying to work out a long-term plan, chances are nothing will be solved. And doing so would only continue to hurt the country’s infrastructure.
“Congress needs to ‘keep the horse before the cart’ and address the trust fund’s long-term revenue problem as was done in the 1997 and 2004 tax bills. Then it can develop and properly fund a six-year program bill early in 2015,” TCC Co-chair Pete Ruane, president and CEO of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, said earlier this month. “And ‘status-quo’ funding levels would simply perpetuate worsening traffic congestion and the inadequate physical condition of the nation’s highway and transit network.”
[gtblockquote type=”right” quote_text_size=”22″ quote_text_style=”normal” quote_text_color=”#9F0226″]I will not stop working until we in Congress have the courage to do what is right…”[/gtblockquote]Throughout this past year Congress has went back and forth on several different funding options for the Highway Trust Fund. Those options include a higher gas tax, a mileage tax and an increase in tolls.
Whatever the solution is, Boxer wants a long-term plan in place – sooner rather than later.
“There are many reasonable ways to continue a self-funded transportation program, and I will not stop working until we in Congress have the courage to do what is right for jobs and business and our nation,” Boxer writes as she concludes her letter. “I look forward to working with you to find a long-term, bipartisan solution for the Highway Trust Fund this year.”