Tags:

Republicans Eye Level Funding of Transport Programs

Wednesday, 28 Sep 2011 07:45 PM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

* House leaders open to long-term bill at today's levels

* Extra money needed to counter shortfall of tax receipts

By John Crawley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican leaders in the House are willing to try and find more money for highway and bridge construction and transit upgrades as part of long-term transportation funding legislation.

John Mica, chairman of the Transportation Committee, recently received a commitment from leadership to help identify new sources of funding to try to ensure that budgeting over a six-year period would at least meet today's spending levels, a senior congressional aide told Reuters.

Mica was not available to comment.

House Speaker John Boehner has said infrastructure is one area where Republicans and Democrats may find common ground in a bitter partisan climate over spending and deficit reduction.

Cash-strapped states are eager for details on what Congress might be willing to spend on road and bridge construction with the current flow of federal dollars only authorized by a temporary law through March.

The Transportation Department devotes about $50 billion annually to transportation construction. But revenue to fund those projects is generated by gasoline tax receipts, which have been declining steadily in recent years due to high pump prices, more fuel efficient cars and a tough economy.

Congress has had to rescue highway transportation programs with separate multi-billion-dollar cash infusions, something Republicans say is no longer an option.

Mica has yet to propose a formal long-term transportation funding blueprint in the Republican-led House, but has said he wants a six-year bill.

Forecasts for federal gas tax receipts over the next six years are expected to settle at about $35 billion annually. Maintaining funding at today's level over that period would require another $100 billion.

Republicans and the Obama administration reject any increase in the gas tax of 18.4 cents per gallon to bolster highway funding even though the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, influential transportation research groups and many Democrats support it.

Mica has said he would look at unspent federal transportation programs for additional funds for highway construction. However, it is unclear whether that plan has panned out.

His office would not comment on potential funding sources.

But separate legislation proposed in the House would direct a percentage of royalties from any new U.S. oil and gas drilling to transportation projects.

Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watchdog group, called that approach a "budget gimmick," saying any royalties from energy development would not likely flow to the Treasury for years.

(Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Report: Obama Sets Record for Presidential Memoranda

Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 23:10 PM

From policy on gun control to immigration and labor regulations, President Barack Obama has issued more presidential mem . . .

American Jailed for 15 Years for Helping Al-Qaeda

Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 22:13 PM

A naturalized American was jailed for 15 years in Miami on Wednesday for conspiring to provide thousands of dollars to A . . .

Gizzi: Obama Ignores Rep. Sanford on Ending Cuban Travel Ban

Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 22:12 PM

The White House never briefed nor gave advance notice to the congressman who first introduced legislation that contained . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved