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White House Proposes $556 Billion Highway Bill
National Journal ^ | 2/14/2011 | Fawn Johnson

Posted on 02/15/2011 2:42:54 PM PST by Qbert

The White House is proposing a whopping $556 billion for a new, six-year surface transportation funding bill that is almost three years overdue. It’s entirely possible that Republicans' total for transportation will be half that amount or less.

Both Republicans and the White House agree on one thing: The long-awaited measure to fund highways, railroads, and bridges should be fully paid for. How to actually come up with the cash, however, will be a matter of considerable debate over the next year. Fuel tax increases are off the table from Republicans’ perspective. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica, R-Fla., wants to comb through current funding programs for unspent funds—the equivalent of searching the sofa cushions for loose change. Mica also wants to leverage public-private partnerships to pay for highway maintenance. Even by the most generous estimates, it’s hard to imagine more than $150 billion coming from those sources.

The national highway funding system has been operating on temporary funding extensions since the last surface transportation measure expired in 2009. President Obama has made transportation investment a top priority for the coming year. He is renewing his request for $50 billion in the coming year “to spur job growth and allow states to initiate sound multiyear investments.” That proposal, issued last fall, fell flat in Congress.   The White House is also seeking $53 billion over six years for high-speed rail projects and is asking for $8 billion of that money in 2012. The likelihood of getting even a fraction of that sum is slim, considering that rail tops the list of programs that Republicans consider expendable. Still, Obama and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s commitment to high-speed rail demonstrates their willingness to plow forward in spite of the opposition. From the administration's perspective, investing in rail is about jobs and growth. As Vice President Joe Biden put it last week, “There are key places where we cannot afford to sacrifice as a nation, one of which is infrastructure.”

Obama also hasn’t given up on a broader plan for a national infrastructure bank that would be housed in the Transportation Department and dole out money for big projects that use multiple transportation modes and could take many years to complete. Those projects might lie fallow without federal expertise and resources to jump start them, according to DOT officials. Obama is seeking $30 billion over six years for the infrastructure bank.

Republicans should applaud one piece of the administration’s transportation budget proposal—consolidating 55 highway programs down to five. “This would give states and localities greater flexibility to direct resources to their highest priorities,” the budget said.


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: budget; obama; roads; spending
The Highway to H-ll...
1 posted on 02/15/2011 2:43:00 PM PST by Qbert
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To: Qbert

Didn’t they already fix the roads and bridges in the last Porkulus bill?

Pray for America


2 posted on 02/15/2011 2:46:24 PM PST by bray (Vote Palin to make heads explode on both sides of the aisle.)
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To: Jet Jaguar; NorwegianViking; ExTexasRedhead; HollyB; FromLori; EricTheRed_VocalMinority; ...

The list, ping

Let me know if you would like to be on or off the ping list

http://www.nachumlist.com/


3 posted on 02/15/2011 2:46:32 PM PST by Nachum (The complete Obama list at www.nachumlist.com)
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To: Qbert

Can I ask what happens to the Federal and State Fuel Tax Revenues?

I thought those taxes were to pay for roads.


4 posted on 02/15/2011 2:47:54 PM PST by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: Qbert

I guess there’s no use in asking where the fuel taxes, 2290’s (Federal Highway Use Tax), or the 12% Federal Excise Taxes went.
And now they want more? Fuggedaboudit.


5 posted on 02/15/2011 2:49:02 PM PST by griswold3 (We defend conservatism by our very way of life.)
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To: Qbert

“Republicans should applaud one piece of the administration’s transportation budget proposal—consolidating 55 highway programs down to five. “This would give states and localities greater flexibility to direct resources to their highest priorities,” the budget said.”

This is called a bribe. There are no “resources”. Most of the states are technically bankrupt, as is the Federal Government.

Obama is determined to destroy the United States, and we’re relying on a select few Republicans to stop him cold.

We’ll see soon whether Republicans stay together on chopping the budget down to ‘affordable’.


6 posted on 02/15/2011 2:49:11 PM PST by SatinDoll (NO FOREIGN NATIONALS AS OUR PRESIDENT!)
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To: Qbert

The House needs to allocate ZERO dollars for this.


7 posted on 02/15/2011 2:50:27 PM PST by Frantzie (HD TV - Total Brain-washing now in High Def. 3-D Coming soon)
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To: bray

“Didn’t they already fix the roads and bridges in the last Porkulus bill?”

Exactly.


8 posted on 02/15/2011 2:52:03 PM PST by Qbert ("I seem to smell the stench of appeasement in the air" - Margaret Thatcher)
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To: Qbert

What for? The day of petroleum powered machines is over. I am working on a wind powered boat. I will post pics after my rights to harness this new source are secure.


9 posted on 02/15/2011 2:52:42 PM PST by kbennkc (For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.)
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To: Qbert

The military really should be condsidering the 25th amend option.


10 posted on 02/15/2011 2:53:45 PM PST by GlockThe Vote (Who needs Al Queda to worry about when we have Obama?)
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To: Qbert

Why dont we wait until we have the money to pay for all this!


11 posted on 02/15/2011 3:03:48 PM PST by Sen Jack S. Fogbound
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To: Qbert

Just another wasted hundreds of billions. We talk about it like it’s chump change!


12 posted on 02/15/2011 3:06:03 PM PST by therightliveswithus
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To: therightliveswithus

It is becuase its not thier Money, they are always loose with other peoples (i.e. THE peoples) money.


13 posted on 02/15/2011 3:12:05 PM PST by KC_Lion (America is on the Brink of War with its self, and no one seams to notice or care)
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To: Qbert

more shovel ready temp jobs?


14 posted on 02/15/2011 3:20:36 PM PST by sappy (criminallibs)
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To: Presbyterian Reporter
Can I ask what happens to the Federal and State Fuel Tax Revenues? I thought those taxes were to pay for roads.

The joke was on us?

15 posted on 02/15/2011 3:21:14 PM PST by Logical me
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To: Qbert

Didn’t Porkulus repave every highway in the Continental US already?


16 posted on 02/15/2011 3:26:36 PM PST by MrDem (Founder: Democrats for Cheney/Palin 2012)
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To: Presbyterian Reporter

“Can I ask what happens to the Federal and State Fuel Tax Revenues?

I thought those taxes were to pay for roads.”

Ha..., no, it’s a “motorist wealth redistribution program”...


17 posted on 02/15/2011 3:28:53 PM PST by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
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To: KC_Lion

“It is becuase its not thier Money, they are always loose with other peoples (i.e. THE peoples) money.”

...even when there IS actually no “OPM”, and they have to borrow the money in “the people’s name”...


18 posted on 02/15/2011 3:30:32 PM PST by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
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To: Logical me

The federal fuel taxes are only covering about 3/4 of what the federal government spends on highways. The gallons of gasoline and diesel sold the past few years are down while the prices of asphalt, concrete and steel are up significantly. Highways are a subsidized form of transportation in the US.


19 posted on 02/15/2011 3:34:22 PM PST by Qout
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To: Qout

Highways are a subsidized form of transportation in the US.

That is true, and is why diatribes against rail subsidization, frequent here on FR, are reactionarily simplistic. The question is how much to allocate to where. This also pertains to air travel subsidized by the FAA through Air Traffic Control and airfield improvement.

Altogether a complicated question and sadly trivialized here on FR (which gives the Left all the more ammo; in fact methinks the reactionary stuff here is often agent provocateur material).

Transportation, particularly freight, clearly needs to be subsidized to some degree nationally. For intermediate and long distances I'm a rail advocate for reasons of specific energy (J/kg/mi) and highway incongruity between auto and truck. But I don't trust any one in the federal government, given the agenda-ridden fusillade of lobbyists and lawyers who will argue any which way, to arrive at objective and most efficient solutions.

Thus the primary reason to cut the feds to the bone, then "they" have to evaluate efficiency.

Johnny Suntrade

20 posted on 02/15/2011 4:40:45 PM PST by jnsun (The Left: the need to manipulate others because of nothing productive to offer.)
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To: bray
Didn’t they already fix the roads and bridges in the last Porkulus bill?

They were the "shovel ready" jobs. Instead we got another Federal snow job.

21 posted on 02/15/2011 5:27:18 PM PST by Cobra64
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To: Presbyterian Reporter
Can I ask what happens to the Federal and State Fuel Tax Revenues?

I thought those taxes were to pay for roads.

Those funds are in the same lock box as Soc. Sec. and Medicare.

22 posted on 02/15/2011 5:28:55 PM PST by Cobra64
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To: Qbert

It is supposed to be paid for by the gasoline taxes they have previously collected. Of course, I’m sure those went into the general spend it all fund.


23 posted on 02/15/2011 5:32:40 PM PST by Ingtar (Together we go broke (from a Pookie18 post))
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To: bray

“Didn’t they already fix the roads and bridges in the last Porkulus bill?”

I seem to remember “Turtle tunnels”. Basically tunnels that allows indigenous turtles to pass safely under highways. Thousands of expensive signs advertising the America Reinvestment Act. Union kickbacks, cash for clunkers and housing credits. Not a whole lot of commitment to the finds following the Minnesota I-35W bridge.


24 posted on 02/15/2011 8:13:39 PM PST by castlegreyskull
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To: castlegreyskull

Can we get our cash back for this clunker?

Pray for America


25 posted on 02/15/2011 8:32:07 PM PST by bray (Vote Palin to make heads explode on both sides of the aisle.)
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To: bray

“Can we get our cash back for this clunker?”

I heard guys compare Obama’s spending to drunken sailors, but of course that is an insult to sailors, they eventually run out of money and go back to their ship and sleep it off. I would more likely compare to a drunken family man who went to Vegas with his family, and used the deed to his house, the title of his car, and maxed out every credit card he had to finance his 48 hour gambling spree.


26 posted on 02/16/2011 2:38:17 AM PST by castlegreyskull
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To: Qbert

Hmm looks like he’s loading up the union jobs for them to ‘return’ the money to him for 2012 elections.


27 posted on 02/16/2011 6:55:58 AM PST by GailA (2012 rally cry DEMOCRATS and RINOS are BAD for the USA!)
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To: Qbert
What do you know, that original gas tax was supposed to be dedicated to maintaining and building our roads. They have been collecting it for over 50 years.

Obviously they stole those funds for other Pork projects instead. But hey! What's 6 hundred Billion dollars more these days, going to matter anyway?

MaObama has seen the light and is now suddenly a Budget Hawk. These aren't taxes, they are “INVESTMENTS”!

28 posted on 02/16/2011 7:05:45 AM PST by PSYCHO-FREEP (Patriotic by Proxy! (Cause I'm a nutcase and it's someone Else's' fault!....))
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To: Qbert

Well, at least spending on “post Roads” is explicitly Constitutional . . .

We can’t trust Obama and the Democrats to do it without massive corruption, of course, but at least this is Constitutional. You could probably even stretch it to cover “high speed rail” if you squint hard enough.

Doesn’t make it a smart thing to do. But at least it’s Constitutional.


29 posted on 02/16/2011 7:14:30 AM PST by filbert (More filbert at http://www.medary.com--The Revolution Will Be Exit-Polled.)
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