23. April 2012 17:24
Last week the U.S. House of Representatives signed off on another extension of the current transportation funding bill – the tenth since September, 2009! This extension will take us through the end of September when the current ninth continuation expires. Both the House and Senate have passed their own versions of a funding bill, but have been unable to agree on a cooperative version. Some industry watchers saw the House extension as a positive move – a vehicle to set up a conference with the Senate. Maybe so, but it is hard not to be a little cynical.
The Highway Trust Fund continues to get bailouts from the General Treasury Fund, and the federal tax levy on gasoline and diesel fuel hasn't been changed since 1993. It would be naïve to expect anything else to happen in this election year; but hopefully, 2013 will bring some new, realistic solutions to a problem that gets worse with every passing day. Our highway system, with certain exceptions, is a mess and won't get any better until members of Congress bite the bullet, set their own personal and partisan agendas aside and do what is best for the country.
Image by Andrew Bossi