Ribble, Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Introduce Long-Term Solution for Highway Trust Fund

Apr 16, 2015 Issues: Transportation

Washington—U.S. Representative Reid Ribble (WI-08) with Reps. Jim Renacci (OH-16), Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), and Dan Lipinski (IL-03) today led a group of 14 of their colleagues in introducing H.R. 1846, the Bridge to Sustainable Infrastructure Act.  The legislation forces Congress to finally find a long-term solution to secure funding for our roads and bridges.
 
“Our roads and bridges are vitally important, but they aren’t free, and for the past seven years, the bill has gone unpaid,” Ribble said. “I am very proud to be working with Reps. Renacci, Pascrell, and Lipinski to finally put Congress on notice: we have exactly one year to consider all the solutions, and find a way to make the Highway Trust Fund solvent.  This isn’t an easy or popular process, but our transportation infrastructure is vital to our nation, and finding solutions and taking hard votes are what we were sent to Washington to do.”
 
The Bridge to Sustainable Infrastructure Act, H.R. 1846, would require Congress to make the Highway Trust Fund, the funding mechanism for all federal transportation infrastructure, financially sound for at least ten years.  Currently, we are spending $16 billion more per year than is being paid in through the gas tax, so a combination of spending cuts and new revenue streams will be required to balance the books in the long term.  The Bridge to Sustainable Infrastructure Act encourages Congress to consider a wide range of potential solutions for cost-cutting and revenue, including corporate tax repatriation and ending the gas tax in favor of a fee based on vehicle miles traveled.  
 
Ribble was instrumental in cutting wasteful transportation spending in the 2012 MAP-21 law through extensive consolidation of programs and an aggressive streamlining review process, and has been a staunch defender of taxpayers as well as a proponent of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.
 
Support for the Bridge to Sustainable Infrastructure Act:
 
Dave Osiecki, executive vice president of the American Trucking Association, stated, "Congress should avoid passing short-term extensions that are, today, putting people out of work and forcing states to cancel or delay critical projects necessary to save lives and address system maintenance and congestion needs. We are grateful for the leadership of Reps. Renacci, Ribble, and Lipinski on this very serious issue and hope all Members of Congress will follow their example by supporting a long-term fix to the crisis facing the Highway Trust Fund."
 
Janet F. Kavinoky, vice president of the Americans for Transportation Mobility Coalition and executive director of Transportation & Infrastructure at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, stated, “It is exciting to see the bold leadership of Congressmen Renacci, Pascrell, Ribble, and Lipinski. Last year when Congress was considering yet another extension, they made clear that it was time to solve the problem of long-term funding for the Highway Trust Fund and stop the short-term patches that are so damaging to the economy, to business, and to the transportation system. The Chamber applauds this bipartisan group of lawmakers for stepping up and offering a solution. It is time for Congress to pass a fully-funded, long-term bill to make our roads and transit systems faster, better and safer, and this proposal is a way to get there.”

Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO of the Associated General Contractors of America, stated, “This legislation shows that some in Congress are willing to take on challenging issues that are vital to our continued economic growth. The measure represents an important first step to resolving the funding challenges that have repeatedly threatened highway construction projects across the country for years now.”  

Dennis Slater, president of Association of Equipment Manufacturers, stated, "AEM congratulates Congressmen Jim Renacci, Bill Pascrell, Reid Ribble and Dan Lipinski for putting forth a substantive and politically courageous proposal to fix the Highway Trust Fund. Their legislation deserves serious consideration in the Ways and Means Committee."
 
The following organizations support the Bridge to Sustainable Infrastructure Act:
·         U.S. Chamber of Commerce
·         American Trucking Associations (ATA)
·         AAA
·         American Highway Users Alliance
·         Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure (Aii)
·         American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
·         American Public Transportation Association (APTA)
·         American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)
·         Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)
·         American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)
·         Associated General Contractors (AGC)
·         AFL-CIO
·         American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI)
·         National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA)
·         American Traffic Safety Services Association
·         Associated Equipment Distributors (AED)
·         National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association (NSSGA)
·         Portland Cement Association
·         International Union of Operating Engineers
·         Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association
·         Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association
·         Wisconsin Concrete Pavement Association
·         Wisconsin Asphalt Pavement Association
·         Wisconsin Earth Movers Association
·         Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin
·         Schneider National
·         Wisconsin Agri-Business Association
·         Wisconsin Petroleum Council
·         Wisconsin League of Municipalities
·         Wisconsin Towns Association
·         Wisconsin Counties Association
 
The following members are cosponsors of the Bridge to Sustainable Infrastructure Act:
·         Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ)
·         Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI)
·         Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-NJ)
·         Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV)
·         Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA)
·         Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA)
·         Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL)
·         Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA)
·         Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ)
·         Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY)
·         Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA)
·         Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH)
·         Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA)
·         Rep. Don Young (R-AK)
·         Rep. John Larson (D-CT)
·         Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH)
·         Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)