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

in Local

Maine Lawmakers Override LePage’s Veto of $6.7B State Budget

GENERIC COURT LARGE

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ Maine lawmakers have overridden Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of the $6.7 billion state budget. The spending…

in Local

Portland, Maine, School Board in No Hurry to Find New Leader

WGAN-100x100

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ The school board in Maine’s largest city will not rush to fill the position that will…

in Local

Maine House Overrides LePage’s Veto of $6.7B State Budget

WGAN-100x100

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ The Maine House of Representatives has voted to overturn Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of the $6.7…

in Local

Police: ‘Win an Inn’ Essay Contest Didn’t Violate Law

WGAN-100x100

CENTER LOVELL, Maine (AP) _ Maine state police and the attorney general’s office say an innkeeper has not violated state…

in Local

Maine Prison Inmate Death Under Investigation

WGAN-100x100

WINDHAM, Maine (AP) _ An investigation is under way after the death of an inmate at a state prison in…

Tweets

  • 8h
  • 9h
  • 9h
  • 9h
  • 9h
  • 10h
  • 13h