Congress explores highway funding sources in hearings

By |  June 22, 2015

Both chambers of Congress explored sources to fund a surface transportation bill during hearings on Capitol Hill, the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) reports.

The House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on the long-term financing of the Highway Trust Fund, inviting witnesses to offer testimony. Those who participated were Chad Shirley of the Congressional Budget Office; Robert Poole of the Reason Foundation; and Bill Graves of the American Trucking Association.

According to NSSGA, funding sources discussed were tolls; increasing the use of public-private partnerships and public activity bonds; user fees such as vehicle miles traveled and motor fuel tax; and general fund transfers offset with money from repatriated funds and the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Fund.

The Senate Committee on Finance, meanwhile, hosted a hearing with Joseph Kile of the Congressional Budget Office; Ray LaHood, former transportation secretary; and Stephen Moore of the Heritage Foundation. NSSGA reports that the Senate Finance Committee came to “no more of a conclusion than did their counterparts in the House.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said at his committee’s meeting that politics need to be put aside to address the highway funding challenge.

“We need people to do more than just talk about a long-term highway bill,” Hatch says. “We need people to bring actual ideas to the table and to come together to work toward a real, lasting solution.”

According to NSSGA, it submitted statements for the record for both the House and Senate hearings.

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