During AASHTO's annual conference in Charlotte, NC, USDOT Secretary Foxx spoke to the audience, stating, "This is not a joke." Reminding them that Congress has passed 28 short-term transportation funding bills in the last six years. "It's serious business."
Foxx spoke for about 20 minutes, invoking Eisenhower's national highway system, Napoleon, the Roman Empire and, yes, the American Society of Civil Engineers. Then he disappeared for some private talks with Tata and other transportation executives before returning for 10 minutes of Q&A with several local reporters.
Foxx on federal transportation funding concerns: Since 1956, this country has funded its highway system through gas taxes. And the gas tax for a long time was on a growth curve, it was expanding, more people were driving cars and for several generations we were able to build our highway system using the fuel tax.
We are now at a point where the fuel tax is producing less revenue, to the tune of $15 billion every year that Congress is having to go look under mattresses and use duct tape and chewing gum to fill that gap. And as a result of that, Congress hasn't passed a long-term transportation bill since 1998. We are almost a decade since the last one expired and as a result of that, local and state governments are having trouble planning.
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