HighWay Trust Running Low On Funds
House Representatives have proposed another short-term solution for the highway bill and many are outraged. House leaders have proposed a temporary one year extension to the current highway bill. Many industry professionals and some politicians are outraged for yet another short-term solution to a long-term issue. The Highway Trust Fund is set to run out of funds in the next few months.
House Majority Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., proposed a one-year extension to the highway bill on Friday, May 30, which would require a $14-$15 billion dollar transfer from general funds. On top of that, McCarthy proposed eliminating first-class mail on Saturday and magazine delivery for the U.S. Post Offices to pay for the expenses.
House leadership releases a press release stating that this short-term solution would not interfere with a long-term solution for the Highway Trust Fund. “The problems presented to us in paying for a short-term extension are different from those facing a long-term bill,” the press release stated. “Ultimately, a long-term bill needs to solve the structural imbalance in the program that has lasted for many years, where revenues cannot support spending levels.”
Others agree that short-term solutions are not the answer to a long-term problem. “This idea is a jobs killer, which does not even fund the Highway Trust Fund for a long enough period of time to provide the certainty that states, cities and businesses need,” stated Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer. “It is unworkable, makes no sense, and ignores the huge infrastructure needs we face, as so many bridges and roads are in grave disrepair.”
The Highway Trust Fund has often been resolved with short-term deals and extensions. It has been since it was established, dozens of times. President Obama proposed a $300+ billion dollar proposal for 4 years but it was shot down by republicans who offered a deal of their own, one for $142 billion. With the Trust set to expire soon, something needs done quick.