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

7 hours ago in Sports

NFL bars violent offenders from rookie scouting combine

nfl

The National Football League has decided individuals who have convictions for domestic violence, sexual assault or weapon offenses will no longer be allowed to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine.

13 hours ago in National

Gov’t report: 8 states had significant drop in uninsured

obamacare

They are Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, and New York. Politically, that's a mix of red, blue and purple states.

14 hours ago in Sports

Party like it’s 1999: Denver to celebrate another Super Bowl

Denver Broncos’ head coach Gary Kubiak, right, reacts after getting soaked with a sports drink by Von Miller (58) after their win against the Carolina Panthers in the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. The Broncos won 24-10. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Denver Broncos will board fire trucks and roll slowly through the crowd-lined streets of the Mile High City to celebrate winning the Super Bowl.

14 hours ago in Entertainment, Sports

Super Bowl fans bet record $132.5 million at Nevada casinos

Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning, center right, holds the trophy after the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. The Broncos won 24-10.  (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Denver were a 5-1/2-point underdog to top-seeded Carolina ahead of Sunday's game in Santa Clara, California, but used a ferocious defense to pull out a 24-10 victory.

14 hours ago in Sports

Nearly 112 million watch Super Bowl 50 on TV, below record

Members of the Denver Broncos hold the trophy after the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. The Broncos won 24-10. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Super Bowl 50 was the third most-watched Super Bowl in U.S. history with 111.9 million Americans watching the game on television, ratings data showed.