Members of the House and Senate introduced several pieces of legislation aimed at shoring up the dwindling Highway Trust Fund before current highway law expires May 31.
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on April 16 introduced the “Invest in Transportation Act of 2015,” which would offer businesses a tax holiday on their overseas earnings.
The measure would offer companies a 6.5 percent tax rate on profits they return to the United States instead of the usual 35 percent, with funds going to boost the Highway Trust Fund.
Also on April 16, Reps. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) and Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) introduced the “Bridge to Sustainable Infrastructure Act,” which would index the gas tax to inflation and establish a bicameral taskforce to identify a long-term funding solution.
Rep. Renacci estimates that indexing the tax would raise $27.5 billion.
The proposals come amid mounting pressure to find a solution for fixing the nation’s transportation funding crisis before May 31.
Despite considerable discussion, elected officials have yet to rally around a single funding mechanism, which already is causing some states to delay construction projects.
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) said a plan for ensuring that funds continue flowing to states after May 31 would be unveiled in coming days.
Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said April 17 that Congress is looking at a short-term extension through the summer to bide more time for a long-term deal, according to Politico.
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