There hasn’t been a long-term solution for funding the repair and continuation of America’s crumbling transportation infrastructurefor six years, but that could all be about to change.
Seventeen lawmakers from both sides of the aisle in Congress have introduced legislation to provide federal transportation funding in the long-term, with Congressman Reid Ribble (R-Wis.) in the driver’s seat.
“The Bridge to Sustainable Infrastructure Act,” as it’s being touted by supporters, “would require Congress to make the Highway Trust Fund financially sound for at least ten years,” according to a release from Ribble’s office.
The Highway Trust Fund is financed solely by the gas tax, and has not kept up with inflation. First implemented in 1932, the tax has been stagnant at 18.4-cents per gallon since 1993. Revenue from the gas tax currently only finances about two-thirds of federal transportation spending.
Ribble’s solution involves bridging this funding gap through “a combination of spending cuts and new revenue streams,” according to the release. In a CNBC op-ed published Wednesday, Ribble said that the gap would be shrunk “with extensive consolidation of programs and an aggressive streamlining review process.”
The bill is supported by many organisations that rely on infrastructure to do business, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Trucking Association and the AFL-CIO. But Ribble knows there’s a steep climb ahead for his legislation.
“This legislation isn’t glamorous,” the congressman wrote, “and won’t be popular with my colleagues in Congress, but I didn’t come to Washington to make friends.”