News

Obama hits the road to campaign for highway fund

Obama hits the road to campaign for highway fund

BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER:Money in the Highway Trust Fund comes from gasoline taxes, which no longer provide enough funding because of declining fuel use. Neither Congress nor the White House want to raise the taxes, which amount to 18.4 cents per gallon tax on gas and 24.4 cents per gallon on diesel. Photo: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will push for Congress to quickly pass a bill to replenish dwindling funds for highway and bridge repairs this week, using a massive bridge-building project north of New York City as a backdrop for a speech on the issue on Wednesday.

Obama will speak at the Tappan Zee bridge, where a $3.9 billion project is underway to replace the aging, congested structure, the White House said.

He will make the case that federal funding for road and infrastructure projects could soon dry up – right in the middle of the summer construction season – unless Congress finds a way to fuel the Highway Trust Fund.

Money in the Highway Trust Fund comes from gasoline taxes, which no longer provide enough funding because of declining fuel use. Neither Congress nor the White House want to raise the taxes, which amount to 18.4 cents per gallon tax on gas and 24.4 cents per gallon on diesel.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx proposed a four-year, $302 billion package paid for by ending certain tax breaks for businesses, but reaction has been cool. The White House has said it is open to other ideas.

“The most important thing is that we pass a long-term bill that creates jobs and provides certainty for cities, states and businesses,” said White House spokesman Matt Lehrich in a statement.

The Senate Environment and Public Works committee is expected to release a bipartisan plan this week.

Vice President Joe Biden will also press the issue in visits to infrastructure projects in St. Louis, Missouri on Tuesday and Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday.

Obama will meet with workers in the Washington DC area on Friday to discuss infrastructure, the White House said.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Gareth Jones)

Recent Headlines

in Sports

NFL: Legal process will play role in punishments

nfl

Punishment for players implicated in domestic violence will not be imposed upon arrest but at some point "farther down the process."

in National

Ebola czar starts work, drugmakers launch vaccine drive

ebola

The Obama administration is ramping up its response to the potential spread of the virus.

in National, World

Canadian parliament attacked, soldier fatally shot

canadashooting

A gunman shot a soldier and then entered the country's parliament buildings, with at least 30 shots fired in dramatic scenes in the heart of the Canadian capital.

in National

U.S. farmers battling bugs

harvest

With record harvests depressing prices, farmers are using chemicals that protect stored grain from critters.

in National, World

Jeffrey Fowle, freed from N. Korea, back on American soil

fowle

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed the release of one of three Americans held in North Korea.