News

Obama hits the road to campaign for highway fund

Obama hits the road to campaign for highway fund

BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER:Money in the Highway Trust Fund comes from gasoline taxes, which no longer provide enough funding because of declining fuel use. Neither Congress nor the White House want to raise the taxes, which amount to 18.4 cents per gallon tax on gas and 24.4 cents per gallon on diesel. Photo: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will push for Congress to quickly pass a bill to replenish dwindling funds for highway and bridge repairs this week, using a massive bridge-building project north of New York City as a backdrop for a speech on the issue on Wednesday.

Obama will speak at the Tappan Zee bridge, where a $3.9 billion project is underway to replace the aging, congested structure, the White House said.

He will make the case that federal funding for road and infrastructure projects could soon dry up – right in the middle of the summer construction season – unless Congress finds a way to fuel the Highway Trust Fund.

Money in the Highway Trust Fund comes from gasoline taxes, which no longer provide enough funding because of declining fuel use. Neither Congress nor the White House want to raise the taxes, which amount to 18.4 cents per gallon tax on gas and 24.4 cents per gallon on diesel.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx proposed a four-year, $302 billion package paid for by ending certain tax breaks for businesses, but reaction has been cool. The White House has said it is open to other ideas.

“The most important thing is that we pass a long-term bill that creates jobs and provides certainty for cities, states and businesses,” said White House spokesman Matt Lehrich in a statement.

The Senate Environment and Public Works committee is expected to release a bipartisan plan this week.

Vice President Joe Biden will also press the issue in visits to infrastructure projects in St. Louis, Missouri on Tuesday and Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday.

Obama will meet with workers in the Washington DC area on Friday to discuss infrastructure, the White House said.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Gareth Jones)

Latest Headlines

6 hours ago in Local

Mother Gives Birth in Bath Supermarket Parking Lot

GENERIC BABY IN CAR SEAT

Emergency medical personnel successfully delivered a baby girl in the parking lot of a supermarket in southern Maine.

8 hours ago in Local

Bill to Limit Use of Video Cameras at Polls Wins Support

VIDEOCAM

A bill that would make it harder to use video cameras to intimidate voters is winning bipartisan support from Maine lawmakers.

8 hours ago in Local

Maine Man Sentenced to 45 Years for Pipe Beating Death

JASON COTE MUG

A judge has imposed a 45-year prison sentence on a Maine man convicted in the pipe-beating death of another man in 2013.

9 hours ago in Local

Maine Man Charged in Father’s Death Pleads Guilty

COURT GAVEL

A Maine man who told detectives he got drunk, didn't take his medication and does not remember fatally shooting his father has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

10 hours ago in Local

Man who Defrauded more than 12 Banks, Businesses Sentenced

MONEY PILE LARGE SIZE

A federal judge has sentenced an Augusta man to more than two years in prison for defrauding more than a dozen banks and businesses by using altered and counterfeit checks.

Tweets

  • 5h
  • 7h
  • 8h
  • 8h
  • 27h
  • 30h
  • 30h