Top Highway Authorizers Call for Trust Fund’s Long-Term Fix

Office of Rep. Sam Graves

An overhaul of tax policy should include a long-term solution for the Highway Trust Fund, the top authorizers of highway projects plan to say to their tax policy counterparts.

“Any [Highway Trust Fund] solution should entail a long-term, dedicated, user-based revenue stream that can support the transportation infrastructure investment supported by President Trump and members of Congress from both parties,” Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), chairman and ranking member of the Highways and Transit Subcommittee, wrote in a letter to the leaders of the Ways and Means panel.

“Not only do our roads, bridges and public transportation facilities depend on a positive, long-term solution, but the American economy does as well,” the lawmakers added. The letter was obtained by Transport Topics.

House tax writers, led by Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and ranking member Richard Neal (D-Mass.) intend to update the U.S. tax code this year, a move the Trump administration suggested should coincide with a long-term infrastructure funding plan.

Republicans' rejection of raising taxes on gas and diesel fuel requires them to identify other revenue options that would ensure the trust fund’s solvency. The fund is projected to be inoperable in about three years. The U.S. Department of Transportation uses the fund to help states pay for infrastructure projects.

Neither Republican leaders nor the White House have announced when they plan to unveil a long-term infrastructure funding plan.