Let’s Build a Bridge and Fix the Highway Trust Fund
The clock is ticking. We’re nearing the final months before the end of the 2014 fiscal year, and Washington still has some unfinished business: the Highway Trust Fund.
The fund is expected to go broke by the end of the summer. That’s bad news, since it finances vital infrastructure projects for the Interstate Highway System. If a fix isn’t put in place soon, hundreds of projects nationwide will be halted and 700,000 workers will be out of jobs.
A lasting solution demands bipartisan support, but it’s not a big secret that there is a lot of animosity between the President and Congressional Republicans right now, especially after House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced plans to file a lawsuit against the President. When President Obama spoke about rebuilding infrastructure a few weeks back, his remarks were a little antagonistic:
Middle-class families can’t wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff. So sue me. As long as they’re doing nothing, I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something.
Despite the animosity, there are signs of movement, as the White House has made the Highway Trust Fund a priority. On Monday, the administration published an interactive transportation map that displays local road and bridge conditions and asks constituents to submit photos and descriptions of roads, bridges, and traffic issues.
Meanwhile, the House is slated to vote on a temporary fix today that would extend highway funding through the middle of next year.
What's needed are not temporary bandages, but a lasting solution. There isn’t time to waste. More than 70,000 bridges and roads are structurally unsound, earning American infrastructure a D+ grade last year.
It’s time that Washington gets to work.
AAM Intern Lauren Pak authored this post.
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