Highway Trust Fund, the Red Zone

By September 5, 2008Infrastructure

From the Department of Transportation, a news release, “U.S. Transportation Mary Peters Announces Steps to Delay Highway Trust Fund Shortfall, Calls on Congress to Pass Legislation to Address Problem“:

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters today directed the Federal Highway Administration to take immediate steps to protect the solvency of the highway account of the Highway Trust Fund and called on Congress to act quickly to finally address this long-predicted problem.

“Time and again, the President has warned Congress of the pending shortfall and submitted fiscally prudent budgets to close the gap,” said Secretary Peters. “Americans cannot afford to have Congress play ‘kick the can’ with highway funding for another year, another month, or frankly, another week.”

She called on Congress to provide immediate short-term relief by passing pending legislation, already approved by the House of Representatives, that would make an additional $8 billion available for the highway trust fund. She urged Congress, however, to avoid adding pet projects, new earmarks or unrelated provisions on the “must pass” legislation and to get the bill done by the end of next week.

The Secretary said the legislation was needed now because Congress had failed to heed over three years of warnings from the President and the Department about the long-predicted highway trust fund shortfall. She added that the recent and sudden decline in American driving and the resulting decline in gas tax revenue during the summer had accelerated the predicted shortfall.


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