On May 14, Congressman Marsha Blackburn (TN-7), responding to a solicitation to all Members of Congress, submitted her list of high-priority transportation projects to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The intent of the solicitation was for Members to identify those transportation projects in their districts that should receive funding from the Highway Trust Fund.
The potential funding for these projects does not come from the Federal Treasury. Instead, the funds are collected from gas tax proceeds paid by Tennessee consumers dedicated only for the purpose of infrastructure development. As such, High Priority Projects do not increase the federal debt, nor do they create a future obligation for Tennessee Taxpayers.
Failure to identify worthy projects in the 7th District would abdicate infrastructure development decisions to bureaucrats who may well spend the funds in ways that don't meet our district's needs. Congressman Blackburn, after consulting extensively with local officials and the Tennessee Department of Transportation, believes that her request list better meets 7th District needs than any bureaucratic effort could.
Congressman Blackburn continues to have serious reservations about the congressional earmarking process. As the transportation projects she has requested come from the Highway Trust Fund rather than the federal treasury; and forestall the possibility that 7th District revenue could be spent in another state or in a manner inconsistent with the wishes of Tennesseans.