President's Corner

January 2018 Building Opportunities for the Next Generation

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Obama proposes $478 billion for infrastructure in budget request

In his annual budget request, President Obama focused upon infrastructure investment, requesting a $478 billion surface transportation reauthorization. These funds would be used for road and bridge projects across the nation over the next several years, and would bolster the funding and long-term stability of the Federal Highway Trust Fund, which is set to run out of money by the end of May.

Currently, Congress has authorized approximately $55 billion per year nationwide, so this funding would be a significant increase.

“Nationwide, our vital transportation infrastructure is falling apart,” said Local 150 President-Business Manager James M. Sweeney. “These roads and bridges are necessary to support commerce and allow people to travel safely. When Congress fails to maintain this infrastructure it costs people and businesses time and money, and throws safety into question.”

Sweeney went on to comment on the way that the Highway Trust is funded. “Since its inception, the Federal Highway Trust has been funded by the federal gas tax. With more efficient vehicles and the use of alternative fuels on the rise, this revenue stream cannot keep up. The motor fuel tax has not been increased since 1993, and it doesn’t begin to keep up with current needs. We need to look at indexing the tax to keep up with inflation and other ways to maintain the roads that keep America competitive and create good-paying jobs for Americans.”



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