Advocates targeting GOP House members on highway bill

Advocates targeting GOP House members on highway bill

A coalition of transportation advocates is targeting Republican lawmakers in the House with a radio ad pushing for a new long-term highway bill. 

The group, known as the Transportation Construction Coalition, is running a 30-second ad in the districts of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul RyanFive goals for Republicans this summer Five tax reform issues dividing Republicans GOP leader tempers ObamaCare expectations MORE (R-Wis.) and members of the chamber's Transportation Committee. 

"About 55 percent of Wisconsin’s annual capital investment in highways and bridges depends on federal funding," the ad running in Ryan's district says. 

"But Congress has not yet passed a long-term highway bill. That puts our funding at risk and hurts our state’s ability to plan mobility and safety improvements," the ad continues. "Tell Congressman Paul Ryan it’s time for the House of Representatives to get a long-term highway bill passed NOW! Wisconsin depends on it.”

The advertising campaign comes after Congress failed to pass a long-term transportation funding bill before leaving Washington for an August recess. 

Transportation advocates pushed lawmakers to approve a six-year infrastructure funding measure, but Congress could not agree on a way to pay for the measure. Lawmakers instead settled for a three-month transportation extension that is scheduled to expire in October. 

Infrastructure supporters have pushed for a gas tax increase for years to close an approximately $16 billion annual shortfall in infrastructure funding that has developed as cars have become more fuel-efficient.

The current tax of 18.4 cents per gallon brings in about $34 billion per year. The federal government typically spends approximately $50 billion in funding per year, which transportation advocates have said is barely enough to cover the repair needs of the current U.S. infrastructure system. 

The shortfall has resulted in Congress failing to pass a transportation funding bill that lasts longer than two years since 2005. 

The construction coalition said its radio ad would run in the districts of the targeted lawmakers for the next two weeks. 

The ad is running in the districts of Ryan and Reps. Rick CrawfordRick CrawfordThe Hill's Whip List: 19 GOP no votes on new ObamaCare replacement bill GOP rep: Clash between Nunes and Schiff a 'little difference of opinion' The Hill's Whip List: 36 GOP no votes on ObamaCare repeal plan MORE (R-Ark.); Devin Nunes (R-Calif.); Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.); Thomas Massie (R-Ky.); Garret Graves (R-La.); Jason Smith (R-Mo.); Adrian Smith (R-Neb.); Mark Meadows (R-N.C.); George Holding (R-N.C.); David Rouzer (R-N.C.); Kristi Noem (R-S.D.); Diane BlackDiane BlackGowdy front-runner to be next Oversight chairman Female lawmakers flee House for higher office, retirement House GOP not sold on Ryan’s tax reform plan MORE (R-Tenn.); Blake FarentholdBlake FarentholdEx-Obama cyber czar defends government rules for hacking tools Lawmakers move to boost transparency of government’s cyber vulnerability disclosure Uber tracking controversy catches Congress's eye MORE (R-Texas); Kevin BradyKevin BradyFive tax reform issues dividing Republicans Border-adjustment tax proposal at death’s door Mnuchin asks Congress for clean debt hike before August MORE (R-Texas) and Mark Sanford (R-S.C.).