A Way Forward on Highway Trust Fund Repairs

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With less than three weeks until the Highway Trust Fund can no longer make payments to states, a bipartisan congressional group is trying to galvanize other lawmakers to find a solution to the trust fund’s structural problems.

Led by Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), the group is urging congressional leaders to let the House vote on the various plans to replenish the fund. This process, known as “Queen of the Hill,” would allow lawmakers to consider multiple options, with the most popular one clearing the chamber.

After July 31 the trust fund will no longer have enough money to reimburse states for critical infrastructure projects. Yet lawmakers still have not reached consensus on a long-term solution, and seem likely to resort to another extension lasting only a few months.

Ideally, lawmakers would approve a responsible long-term plan that includes a dedicated revenue stream that matches planned spending.

“It is refreshing and encouraging to see this bipartisan group of lawmakers, led by Rep. Ribble and Rep. Welch, step forward and demand accountability by calling for votes on sensible Highway Trust Fund financing reforms,” said Robert L. Bixby, executive director of The Concord Coalition.

“Plenty of lawmakers have offered sensible solutions, the best of which would result in a permanent fix rather than yet another temporary patch,” Bixby added. “So let’s put them on the table and give them the consideration they deserve.”

External links:
No More Detours on Responsible Highway Funding (Concord Coalition)
Bipartisan Effort to Break Impasse Over Highway Trust Fund (Rep. Reid Ribble)
A Simple Solution to Highway Funding Cliff (Washington Post)
House GOP Rolls Out Highway Offsets

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