Cramer: House Passes Long-Term Highway Funding Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer announced the U.S. House of Representatives today passed H.R. 22, the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act, as amended by vote of 363-64. The legislation authorizes $340 billion in transportation funding for six-years. If this legislation is signed into law, it would be the first time since 2005 that Congress has passed a long-term transportation bill funding transportation needs beyond two years.
The House and Senate will now hold a conference committee to reconcile the House bill with a similar Senate bill.
“Having a robust and safe surface transportation infrastructure is a very high priority for our Federal government. Today’s passage of the DRIVE Act goes a long way toward providing some certainty and providing some funding for the next few years,” said Cramer. “We need to work even harder on finding a longer term, more secure and reliable funding source for our Highway Trust Fund, but this is a good first step. It provides some certainty for our states and for our transportation infrastructure, our contractors and others who work so hard to keep our roads safe. This is a big victory, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
The nation’s surface transportation system is comprised of more than 4 million miles of public roads, 600,000 bridges, and 270,000 public transit route miles. In 2012, Americans traveled 4.3 trillion miles using highways and transit, using more than 250 million cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Under current law, the federal government levies an excise tax of 18.4 cents per gallon on gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon on diesel fuel. Federal motor fuels excise tax collections are credited to the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), with the exception of 0.1 cent per-gallon of the fuel taxes deposited in the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Trust Fund. Fuel taxes have historically provided approximately 90 percent of the receipts to the HTF. In recent years, tax collections have not kept pace with spending on federally-funded transportation projects due to the effect of inflation on both project costs and the real value of non-indexed tax rates; reductions in vehicle miles traveled; and improved corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards.