This week both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate will gear-up over the future of federal highway and transit funding and policy. The House is expected to approve a six-month extension of current policy, which would cost approximately $9 billion. The Senate is expected to take-up highway legislation later this week, but it remains unclear to length and scope of legislation that they will be pursuing. Majority Leader McConnell has expressed support for a multi-year bill, possibly some form of the DRIVE Act. However, other Senators have discussed the option of extending the current policy to the end of the year with the hopes of dedicated revenues to transportation from international tax reform.
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee is set to mark-up its safety, freight and rail portions of the bill this Wednesday morning. It remains unclear when or if the Senate Banking Committee will mark-up its transit portion of the bill.
Last week, Congressman Tom Rice (R-7-SC) introduced the H.R. 2971, “The Highway Trust Fund Certainty Act”, which would raise federal motor fuels taxes by approximately 10 cents per gallon and index that rate to inflation in order to address the current annual Highway Trust Fund shortfall. In a letter to the Congressman, ASCE commended Rep. Rice’s leadership on this issue, but noted that additional federal investment will still be required to meet our nation’s long-term surface transportation infrastructure needs.
You can urge Congress to #FixTheTrustFund by the July 31 legislative deadline in the following ways:
- Send a request today to meet with your members of Congress: Here are some helpful hints and how to set up a “back home” meeting.
- Contact your Member of Congress via letter or phone call: If you can’t meet in person, send your member of Congress a quick letter about the Highway Trust Fund or give their office a call and ask for the staff that handles transportation. Look up their number and get talking points here.
- Communicate with your member of Congress via social media: Most members of Congress have Facebook and Twitter pages. In addition to calling or writing a letter, urge them to #FixTheTrustFund on social media.