Friday, May 1, 2009

Highway Reauthorization Stalls Over Funding

Despite the statements by House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James Oberstar, Ranking Member John Mica, Highways and Transit Subcommittee Chairman Peter Fazio and Ranking Member John Duncan that the four have agreed on the "major parameters of a surface transportation reauthorization bill which they hope will total between $450 and $500 billion for highways and mass transit, they can't agree on where the money will be coming from. Oberstar wants to increase fuel taxes, but increases in gas and diesel taxes are opposed by Mica and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Although Oberstar promises passage of a bill in June, the dispute over fuel taxes versus mileage taxes as a funding mechanism makes that prediction optimistic. Current funding legislation expires at the end of September.
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