April 28,2015

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Senate Finance Democrats Call for Leadership on the Highway Trust Fund

WASHINGTON - Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore. and Finance Democrats today sent a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch calling for leadership in bringing the Committee together to explore long-term funding solutions before time runs out.  As part of this, Finance Democrats encouraged the Chairman to engage the Committee in a bipartisan process to address this critical program including holding bipartisan meetings, a hearing, and to start by considering the bipartisan funding proposals that previously passed the Finance Committee and the Senate last year:

“In just one month the Highway Trust Fund expires,” Wyden said. “Our nation’s highways and roads are in serious need of reconstructive surgery, but instead critical projects are in limbo.  As we did last year, we’re ready to work together to find a bipartisan solution.  We need a long-term bill so that our country can better plan for and support its transportation infrastructure needs.”

“Any successful long term solution depends on reliable funding as well as the introduction of creative financing channels.   I’m also looking at how we can bring private capital off the sidelines to help us build a modern transportation system.”

In just one month, the program that supports the building, maintenance and operations of our highways, roads and transit systems expires.  Already four states have discontinued new projects, holding back more than $1.3 billion in funds. On June 1, without congressional action, the USDOT will be legally barred from paying states and transit agencies the funds they have been promised.

The letter can be found here.