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Americans Can’t Agree How to Pay to Fix Nation’s Deteriorating Highways

But majority want something done.

by on Aug.07, 2014

A suburban Detroit driver avoids a tire-chewing pothole. Photo courtesy: CNBC.

Whether in traffic-congested California, or in Snowbelt states like Michigan, the nation’s roadways are in rough shape, a problem that not only causes fillings to jar, but adds to costs in terms of slower truck traffic and vehicle repairs.

But the need to fix America’s roadways is about the only thing taxpayers can agree on. How to pay for those repairs is an issue dividing the country, according to a new Associated Press-GfKpoll.

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A solid majority, six out of 10 of those surveyed, said that the need for good highways, railroads and airports justifies their cost. And the figure goes even higher, to 62%, among those who drive regularly. Even among those who get behind the wheel less than once a week, the figure is a solid 55%. (more…)

Proposed Tax Hike Increases Gas Prices 15 Cents a Gallon

The $170 billion raised may not be enough to fix U.S. infrastructure.

by on Dec.06, 2013

A proposed 15-cent a gallon hike in the federal gas tax would help improve the country's infrastructure, according to proponents.

The price of gas may be on the rise again, but this time everyone will know why: the federal gas tax will nearly double if one Congressman’s proposal passes.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) is pushing a bill in the House of Representatives to raise the tax 15 cents per gallon to 33.4 cents per gallon on gas and 42.8 cents per gallon of diesel.

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The 15 cents would be phased in five-cent increments during the next three years and add $170 billion during the next 10 years, he said. (more…)

Transport Bill Trapped in House After Senate OK

Lawmakers under pressure to avert catastrophic shutdown.

by on Mar.15, 2012

The bill passed by the Senate would reportedly "maintain or create" 2.8 million jobs.

In a rare show of bipartisan support, especially as the presidential election nears, the U.S. Senate gave solid approval to a long-delayed federal transportation bill that covers everything from highway construction to the collection of gas taxes.

Capitol Hill lawmakers have been struggling since 2009 to come up with an update to the law, and the 74-22 vote actually just authorized another 2-year extension that would funnel $109 million into everything from road repairs to mass transit programs.  But even that compromise might not make it into law, Washington observers warn – adding that millions of jobs are at stake.

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The House of Representatives, led by Speak John Boehner, R-Ohio, has been struggling to approve its own transport bill – to no avail.  And even though the Republican speaker now says he’d be willing to consider the Senate’s language it is uncertain he can rein in enough of his own party members to push the extension through.

“If there was ever a piece of legislation that should not turn into a partisan fight, this is it,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.).

(more…)