Band Aid Transit Funding Not Enough
Today, I will be voting in support of legislation that provides badly-needed funding to rebuild our nation’s aging infrastructure and create new jobs for Americans.
The vote will keep the Highway and Transit Trust Fund from going bankrupt in August, which would delay more than 100,000 transportation projects and jeopardize as many as 700,000 construction jobs across the country. It also reauthorizes Surface Transportation programs, which are set to expire on September 30.
While I supported this urgent legislation, I am disappointed that Congress will not enact a multi-year transportation reauthorization this year. Our states and local governments need the certainty of long-term funding because infrastructure projects need long-term financing.
I am also disappointed in the funding mechanisms under this legislation, which are short-term budget gimmicks and not sustainable solutions. I have signed on to legislation, for example, that would leverage private investment for transportation infrastructure through bonds bought by companies who want a tax break if they bring cash earned abroad back to the United States. This is just one idea: we must explore all options to create jobs and ensure our country’s roads, highways and bridges stay safe.