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DOT Chief Foxx Sends Revised Transportation Bill to Congress
DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx sent Congress a proposal for a six-year, $478 billion transportation bill March 30 that would provide the funding growth and certainty needed so states and cities can proceed with repairing and improving the nation's infrastructure.
The measure is an update of the GROW AMERICA Act, a transportation bill the Obama administration sent to Congress two months ago. It reflects President Obama's vision for a long-term transportation reauthorization bill that invests in modernizing America's infrastructure. As lawmakers try to fund transportation beyond the May 31 deadline for expiration of the current bill, the act provides Congress with the option of increasing investment in surface transportation by 45 percent and supporting millions of jobs repairing and modernizing public transit systems.
"All over the country, I hear the same account: The need to repair and expand our surface transportation system has never been greater, and yet federal transportation funding has never been in such short supply," Foxx said in a statement.
He noted that the proposal provides a level of funding and also funding certainty "that our partners need and deserve. This is an opportunity to break away from 10 years of flat funding, not to mention these past six years in which Congress has funded transportation by passing 32 short-term measures."
The proposal would primarily be paid for with revenue from taxing corporate overseas profits, called repatriation. It would require companies to bring back earnings to the U.S. at a 14 percent tax rate. This would generate an estimated $238 billion in revenue for the government that could be used to pay for infrastructure improvements, according to DOT.
A recent study by DOT, Beyond Traffic, revealed that public transit faces an $86 billion repair backlog. The report also revealed that, over the next 30 years, Americans will depend more on our nation's transportation system than ever before.
Foxx said his proposal will increase investment in all forms of transportation, which will restore the ability of states and local governments to plan for both needed repairs and efforts that increase capacity to meet future demand.
"It is clear to me that transportation is still a bipartisan issue, and I am really encouraged to see members of both parties working to get something done," Foxx said. "During these next two months, though, all of us who work in Washington need to be relentless in trying to get to 'yes' on a bill that is truly transformative and that brings the country together. And frankly, governors and state officials as well as mayors and local officials all over the country need to continue being relentless, too, by continuing to raise their voices in support of a transportation bill that meets both their immediate and long-term needs."
State-specific fact sheets are available here. See APTA's Legislative Alert for more details.