Infrastructure

Obama's transportation plan: Four more years

President Obama is expected to call for Congress to approve a four-year transportation bill during an appearance in St. Paul, Minn., on Wednesday.

Transportation advocates have pleaded with Congress to increase the level of transportation funding and adopt a longer measure. They say both objectives would provide certainty to state and local governments that rely on federal money to complete infrastructure improvements.

Obama’s proposal calls for the passage of a four-year, $302 billion bill that would replace the expiring surface transportation bill that is scheduled to run out in September.

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Week ahead: Infrastructure and rail safety to dominate week

Lawmakers in the House will tackle infrastructure funding and rail safety issues in their return to Washington this week.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has scheduled hearings on a potential reauthorization of the surface transportation bill that is scheduled to expire in September, as well as passenger and freight rail safety regulations.

The subjects have been in the news in recent weeks as transportation advocates have pushed for an increase in the 18.4 cents-per-gallon federal gas tax that is normally used to pay for infrastructure improvements, and regulators have responded to a spate of freight rail accidents involving crude oil cargo shipments.

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DOT chief: Increase, not 'level off,' highway funding

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Thursday that lawmakers should stop focusing on trying to refill the trust fund that pays for road and transit projects.

Instead, Foxx said in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, lawmakers should train their efforts on coming up with a new funding source for transportation projects altogether. 

"For years, our national dialogue has focused on how to get the Highway Trust Fund leveled off," Foxx said. "To translate that into business terms, we’ve been trying to reach the same level of sales revenue and expenditures as the last year instead of growing revenue and expenditures to meet customer demand." 

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