House passes two-month highway funding extension
The looming May 31 deadline to pass legislation to finance the Highway Trust Fund has been lifted, at least temporarily. Lawmakers have extended this year’s deadline an additional two months as they continue to search for a long-term solution to replenish the infrastructure industry’s federal reserve. This, unfortunately, is not the first time Congress has pushed back the Highway Trust Fund deadline. Legislation for a long-term solution has been deferred since 2011.
The Highway Trust Fund is currently only funded by the gasoline tax which generates about $35 billion a year, yet the federal government spends over $50 billion annually on highway and transit projects. Lawmakers are at an impasse for long-term replenishment. While some support raising the gasoline tax, others want to pull from the general fund to keep it afloat. Other ideas have been discussed, but Congress is gridlocked as to their effectiveness.
The nation’s infrastructure is in dire need of repair. Without the assurance of this major source of funding, project planning is at a stand-still. Unfortunately, taxpayers are the ones who will continue to suffer. The best way for us to participate is to reach out to our representatives and express our desire to maintain the nation’s highways and bridges.
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