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 Davis RyanUnscripted Trump keeps audience guessing in Rose Garden Coulter defends Paul Ryan: This is 100 percent Trump's fault The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump escalates border fight with emergency declaration 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. 

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"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 CrawfordRichard (Rick) CrawfordGOP announces members who will serve on House intel panel Judiciary Democrats want Whitaker to testify in 2019 Farm bill’s expansion of trade opportunities between the US and Cuba historic and mutually beneficial 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 Lynn BlackLamar Alexander's exit marks end of an era in evolving Tennessee Juan Williams: The GOP's worsening problem with women How to reform the federal electric vehicle tax credit MORE (R-Tenn.); Blake FarentholdRandolph (Blake) Blake FarentholdFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Lawmaker seeks to ban ex-members from lobbying until sexual harassment settlements repaid Former Texas lawmaker Blake Farenthold resigns from lobbying job MORE (R-Texas); Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyKey author of GOP tax law joins Ernst and Young Lawmakers beat lobbyists at charity hockey game Democrats step up work to get Trump tax returns MORE (R-Texas) and Mark Sanford (R-S.C.).