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Republicans search for road funding fix

Republicans search for road funding fix
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House Republicans have scheduled a hearing on infrastructure funding as they seek a solution to the looming expiration of a federal highway bill.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday to discuss the reauthorization of the surface transportation bill, which is set to expire in May.

The hearing will be the panel's second meeting about the transportation bill this year as lawmakers search for a way to pay for an extension of the infrastructure funding.

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Transportation Secretary Anthony FoxxAnthony Renard FoxxHillicon Valley: Uber, Lyft agree to take California labor win nationwide | Zoom to implement new security program along with FTC | Virgin Hyperloop completes first test ride with passengers Uber, Lyft eager to take California labor win nationwide Big Dem names show little interest in Senate MORE in February told lawmakers in the Republican-controlled House that it was important to pass a long-term bill that would boost U.S. infrastructure funding for the first time in nearly a decade.

“Our country is too great to allow our infrastructure to fall apart," Foxx said during the Feb. 11 hearing.

“We must do something,” Foxx continued then. “At a time when we should be building more, we’re building less. Instead of saying ‘build, build, build,’ Congress has been saying ‘stop.’ ”

Congress has approved only a series of temporary infrastructure funding patches since a 2005 transportation bill expired in 2009, including an $11 billion measure scheduled to expire on May 31.

The Department of Transportation has said its Highway Trust Fund will out of money without an extension of the infrastructure funding bill. The fund, which is used to pay for most infrastructure projects, takes in revenue from the 18.4 cents per gallon federal gas tax.

The gas tax has not been increased since 1993, and has struggled to keep pace with rising construction costs as cars have become more fuel-efficient.

Lawmakers have introduced a series of bills recently to extend the expiring transportation funding measure, but they have not yet coalesced around a specific funding source. The idea of increasing the federal gas tax to help pay for construction projects has been discussed, but many lawmakers are reluctant to ask drivers to pay more at the pump.

Additional proposals from the White House and lawmakers like Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - World mourns the death of Prince Philip The Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings Trump faces test of power with early endorsements MORE (R-Ky.) and Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerBottom line Trump administration halting imports of cotton, tomatoes from Uighur region of China Biden inaugural committee to refund former senator's donation due to foreign agent status MORE (D-Calif.) rely on the idea of taxing overseas corporate revenue through a process known as “repatriation” to pay for a new round of road projects. 

Lawmakers are scheduled to hear testimony at the hearing next Tuesday from state transportation officials from North Carolina, Utah and Wyoming.