U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, a member of the House Budget Committee and a coauthor of the House-passed FY2014 budget resolution, today questioned witnesses during a Budget Committee hearing on the future of the Highway Trust Fund. Rokita issued the following statement after the hearing:
"The federal government has an important role to play in our nation's infrastructure, but for years it has neglected its responsibility to properly fund infrastructure projects. Instead of addressing the structural financing problems with the Highway Trust Fund, additional taxpayer dollars have been raided from the General Fund to pay for projects that do very little to improve our highways and interstates. As a result, the Highway Trust Fund is rapidly going broke.
"Fortunately, there are solutions to this broken system. By giving states more control over their infrastructure financing needs, using public-private partnerships, and prioritizing our spending, we can control the runaway costs," said Rokita.
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Highway Trust Fund will become insolvent during FY 2015. Over the past decade, gas-tax receipts, the main revenue source for the fund, plateaued while spending continued to grow. Much of the increased spending is due to funds being diverted to non-highway projects, such as bike trails and museums.