Kuster to House Leadership: Don’t let Transportation Funding Run Dry
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a letter sent yesterday, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) called on House leadership to work together to provide additional funding for the Highway Trust Fund before payments to states are delayed or interrupted. The Highway Trust Fund (HTF), which provides funding to states for transportation and infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges, is expected to drop below a critical funding threshold by June of this year.
“A robust, safe, and efficient transportation network is absolutely critical to protecting public safety, growing our economy, and creating jobs in New Hampshire,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “Granite Staters will lose jobs and important projects may go unfinished if the Highway Trust Fund runs out of money in the middle of the busy construction season. Congress must act now and provide states and businesses with the certainty they need to carry out these vital infrastructure projects.”
“Consistent and predictable funding is critical to our country’s highway infrastructure and the industry that maintains this national network of roads and bridges. We appreciate Congresswoman Kuster’s recognition of the very real potential for funding disruptions as we approach the expiration of MAP-21. Funding needs to be introduced to make MAP-21 solvent and in the longer term a new long term highway bill needs to be passed this year to adequately fund our infrastructure investment,” said Christian Zimmermann, President of Pike Industries, a Belknap County highway construction company.
The Highway Trust Fund, established in 1956, is the primary source of funding for highway and transit programs and projects on the state, local, and federal level. The HTF is funded by a federal fuel tax of 18.3 cents per gallon on gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon on diesel fuel. Declining revenues from these fuel taxes in recent years has led to funding shortfalls in the HTF, which has been supplemented by additional funds appropriated by Congress. Authorization for the HTF, last reauthorized by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) in 2012, will expire on September 30, 2014.
The full text of Congresswoman Kuster’s letter is here and below:
March 19, 2014
The Honorable John A. Boehner The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker Democratic Leader
U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives
H-232, The Capitol H-204, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515 Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr. Speaker and Madam Leader:
I write today to ask that you work together to provide additional funding for the Highway Trust Fund before payments to states are delayed or interrupted.
The Department of Transportation recently announced that the Highway Trust Fund balance could drop below a critical threshold as early as June of this year. As a result, payments to states would be delayed or halted in the middle of the busy summer construction season. This would jeopardize many transportation infrastructure projects that are vital to ensuring the safety of my constituents and could result in job losses in my district and around the country.
Businesses across New Hampshire tell me that one of the most important things we can do to help them thrive is to provide a safe and robust transportation network. A transportation network that quickly moves goods to the market and people to their jobs is the key to our continued economic recovery and support from the Highway Trust Fund helps make this possible.
I urge you to work with both parties to ensure that the Highway Trust Fund remains solvent for the remainder of this fiscal year and to craft a long-term reauthorization of surface transportation programs that provides certainty and support moving forward.
I appreciate your consideration of my request and pledge to assist in any manner I am able.
Ann McLane Kuster
Member of Congress
cc: The Honorable Anthony Foxx, Secretary
U.S. Department of Transportation