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May 11, 2015 10:00 AM, EDT

Secretary Foxx Tells Congress Time Is Running Out to Fix Highway Funding

Andrew Harrar/Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON — Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said that while lawmakers focus on crafting a long-term transportation plan, his department is 20 days away from running out of its ability to use the “little bit of money we do have” to assist states with infrastructure.

“This challenge is actually worse than last summer,” Foxx said. "Because if this extension goes without being pushed forward in some way we will not have the ability to spend the dollars we do have to support this nation’s infrastructure. It is that serious.”

Foxx, speaking at the headquarters of Bloomberg Government on May 11 to kick off Infrastructure Week, warned that states will continue to delay construction projects if federal funding remains uncertain. Already, Georgia, Arkansas and Delaware have pulled back on construction projects, he said.

CAPITOL AGENDA: Daily coverage of Infrastructure Week

Republicans in control of the House and Senate have not unveiled a proposal to boost highway dollars ahead of a May 31 transportation funding authority deadline. The Highway Trust Fund, which helps states with big-ticket projects, is projected to run out of money by mid-summer.

GOP leaders also are likely to dismiss the Obama administration’s six-year, $478 billion Grow America Act transportation plan. That plan would be financed with revenue from a one-time 14% tax on those earnings U.S. corporations have kept overseas.