Highway Trust Fund - Near Broke, Again

Back in September, we reported that the trust fund had to receive an $8 billion bailout. Reuters reports that a second bailout is required to prevent the fund from going broke by August. Sen. Boxer indicates she supports indexing the gas tax.

"We recently learned that the Highway Trust Fund will run out of money some time before August of this year, and will require an infusion of $5 to $7 billion to get through the rest of fiscal year 2009," said Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, the highest ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, at a confirmation hearing for the next federal highway administrator."

"Obama administration officials confirmed the amounts and August timeframe to Reuters, adding they will work with Congress to find a remedy.

In March, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood pledged that President Barack Obama would not raise the tax, which has stayed at the same level since the early 1990s."

"Administration officials have estimated that an additional $8 to $10 billion is the amount needed to pay immediate cash needs if the overall program is to be maintained at current funding levels through the end of fiscal year 2010," said the committee's chairman, California Democrat Barbara Boxer.

Last month, Boxer told Reuters the gas tax will be included in the broad transportation spending bill Congress is currently drafting. Boxer, who will marshal the bill through the Senate, also said it is "very important" to index the tax to inflation."

Thanks to Bay Area Transportation News

Full Story: UPDATE 2-Obama tells Congress US highway fund near empty


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