Congresswoman Kuster Statement on NH Department of Transportation Construction Delays Due to Lack of Federal Funding for Highway Trust Fund
CONCORD, NH – This afternoon, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) released the following statement regarding the New Hampshire Department of Transportation’s announcement that $25 million worth of summer construction projects will be delayed until next year due to uncertainty regarding the federal Highway Trust Fund, which is set to drop below a critical funding threshold by August, and completely run out of money before September unless Congress acts. Kuster has introduced the DRIVE Now Act, which would replenish the Trust Fund and allow vitally important summer construction projects in New Hampshire to continue.
“I’m very disappointed to learn that the New Hampshire Department of Transportation is being forced to push $25 million worth of summer construction projects back until next year due to uncertainty regarding the Highway Trust Fund,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “The Highway Trust Fund helps states complete much-needed road and infrastructure repairs, and here in New Hampshire these projects are vital to the safety of Granite State drivers. What’s more, our construction workers rely on these jobs during the busy summer construction season, so delaying these projects will hurt both our public safety and our state’s economy.”
“I have been urging Congress to take action since early this year. That’s why I introduced the DRIVE Now Act, which would replenish the Highway Trust Fund and allow these Granite State summer construction projects to continue. I’m very disappointed that Congress has failed to act on this, and I call on my colleagues to immediately pass my legislation so these projects that are so crucial to our economy will not face any additional delays.”
In May, Congresswoman Kuster introduced H.R. 4601, the DRIVE Now Act, which would ensure that the Highway Trust Fund remains solvent for the remainder of the fiscal year. The Trust Fund, which provides crucial funding to states for transportation and infrastructure projects like the I- 93 expansion, which Kuster toured earlier this year, is expected to drop below a critical funding threshold by August. Kuster’s DRIVE Now Act (Deficit Reduction for Infrastructure, Value, and Efficiency Now Act) would prevent the Fund from running dry and ensure our summer construction projects can continue.
The DRIVE Now Act would make a one-time payment of $5 billion to the Highway Trust Fund to pay for transportation projects for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2014, which ends September 30, 2014, and allow Congress time to pass a reauthorization to surface transportation programs. At the same time, the bill would reduce the deficit by taking common sense steps to eliminate a costly and duplicative catfish inspection program, consolidate federal data centers, and force federal agencies to close long-empty bank accounts. These combined actions would reduce spending by more than $10 billion, offsetting the $5 billion payment for the Highway Trust Fund, and further reducing the nation’s deficit.