Obama sends transportation bill to Congress

The Obama administration…sent a bill to Congress that aims to cover an expected shortage in money to spend on America’s bridges, roads and transit systems, but Republican opposition could prevent its passage.

Wow…there’s a fracking surprise!

Funding for the four-year, $302 billion legislation would come partly from ending certain tax breaks for businesses, a provision opposed by many Republicans. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the administration would be open to other ideas to raise the money…

The Highway Trust Fund traditionally has been bankrolled by taxes on gasoline and diesel, but with fuel use stagnant the fund is not bringing in enough revenue to cover infrastructure needs. It is projected to run out of money as soon as August…

Congress has all but ruled out raising the 18.4-cents-a-gallon tax on gasoline and the 24.4-cents-a-gallon levy on diesel, which is the main source of funding for the trust fund.

Democrats understand those are regressive taxes that mostly harm working families. Republicans are just worried about the Trucking Lobby.

Foxx said some states are already canceling or delaying transportation projects “because of the uncertainty at the federal level.”

The administration’s proposal would address the trust fund’s looming shortfall and provide an additional $87 billion to pay for a backlog of repairs such as structurally deficient bridges and aging transit systems.

A report last week by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association estimated that roughly one in 10 U.S. bridges, more than 63,000, is in urgent need of repair. Many are part of the interstate highway system.

Folks like me have been beating our heads against the wall of corporate defense the Republican Party and Blue Dog Democrats have built around Congress. Bad enough they spend every waking hour fighting to prevent the most wealthy in this land from coughing up a fair share of the cost of running this country [on their behalf]. But, even tax breaks that are starting to expire are considered sacred by the cows who milk us.

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