The nation’s fund for transportation projects is about to run dry, and Congress has yet to find a way to refill the coffer.
All the money will be gone by the end of the month, when the Highway Trust Fund, or gas tax, runs out of funding.
Former Congressman and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood says Congress is considering a two-month fix, but the real answer is to pass a long-term bill that fully funds transportation. Without it, he says, “Our roads and bridges will continue to crumble.”
“The country is one big pothole. We’ve had brutal winters three years in a row. It’s ridiculous that as construction season gets underway, we’re running out of money,” said LaHood.
He says transportation funding continues to be caught up in a bigger battle in Congress over budget. He says Congress is afraid to “bite the bullet” and find the money to fund transportation.
“You talk about wanting to create economic development, economic opportunity, this is it,” said LaHood. “If you invest in the roads, you’re investing in the people that build them, and the infrastructure. And, that only helps communities.”
He tells WMBD’s Greg and Dan Show that the best way to fund transportation is to increase the gas tax that’s collected at the pump. He says the gas tax, which has not been raised in twenty years, should be given a bump that is indexed to the cost of living. LaHood says that’s funded transportation in this country for half a century, and should be considered as a long-term solution to the nation’s infrastructural needs.