Foxx to brief reporters amid transportation funding fight

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Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is scheduling to brief reporters on Tuesday at an event hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

The event comes as the Obama administration is pushing Congress to pass a new round of transportation funding ahead of a looming expiration date of federal road and transit funding.

At the center of the transportation funding debate is the Department of Transportation’s Highway Trust Fund, which Foxx and other budget experts have said will run out of money next month if Congress does not act soon.

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Foxx has pushed lawmakers to consider a four-year, $302 billion transportation bill that was suggested by President Obama. The measure calls for using approximately $150 billion from closing corporate tax loopholes to help pay for transportation projects.

Republicans in the House have thus far balked at the proposal, suggesting instead that transportation funding should be tied to cut backs at the U.S. Postal Service.

The traditional source for transportation funding has long been the 18.4 cents-per-gallon federal gas tax. The gas tax has not been increased since 1993 and cars are becoming more fuel efficient each year.

The current expiring transportation bill includes approximately $50 billion in infrastructure spending, but the gas tax brings in only about $34 billion.

Transportation advocates have pushed lawmakers to increase the gas tax for the first time in two decades to close the shortfall, but the Obama administration and Congress have both been reticent to increase the amount paid by drivers in the middle of an election year.

 

Foxx is expected to address the various funding proposals during his remarks on Tuesday. 

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