U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today called on the Senate to address a long-term, sustainable solution to the Highway Trust Fund shortfall by the year-end rather than continue temporary patches put forth by the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee. Late Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee announced legislation to temporarily patch the Highway Trust Fund by transferring nearly $10 billion from the general fund to be spent over the next few months and pay for it over 10 years using budget gimmicks. Earlier this week, Corker blasted a similar bill in the House Ways and Means Committee.
"Republicans and Democrats need to stop this ongoing practice of generational theft -- spending money over a few months and paying for it over a decade," said Corker. "I urge my Senate colleagues to commit to passing a long-term solution by year-end so we can fund our nation's transportation projects responsibly by paying for them in the same timeframe the money is spent."
The federal Highway Trust Fund provides half of the country's spending on transportation projects and will run dry in August, likely halting the construction of any new transportation projects without action from Congress. This will result in a 50 percent reduction in Tennessee's transportation budget in 2015 and create a $160 billion hole in state budgets nationwide over the next decade at a time when they can least afford it.
Last month, Corker and Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) announced a bipartisan proposal that would create a long-term, stable funding mechanism for the Highway Trust Fund.