Re-elect Dan Lipinski Congressman

Problem Solvers Take The Lead on Transportation Fix

02/13/2015

 

The Hill

 

Problem solving in Washington begins by establishing shared goals. Once a goal is established, the terms for debate are set and both parties are better prepared to find common ground. 

This week we got a good example of this process thanks to a pair of No Labels Problem Solvers, Reps. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) and Reid Ribble (R-Wis).

Lipinski and Ribble are leading a bipartisan group of nearly 300 members of Congress in calling for a long-term fix to the nation’s roads and public transportation systems. 

“We are united in our conviction that now is the time to end the cycle of short-term extensions that kick the can down the road by doing the work needed to pass a long-term surface transportation reauthorization bill,” the group wrote in a letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

The current extension of the Highway Trust Fund is set to expire in less than four months.

“In the last decade, there have been nine short-term extensions of highway and transit programs,” the letter continues. “This kind of uncertainty impedes economic growth and makes it difficult for our country to fulfill its competitive potential.”

There is recognition within Congress that the United States is failing to maintain a modernized transportation network. But in recent years, stalemate has impeded leaders from dealing with the mounting challenges.

Lipinski and Ribble have taken an important first step by demonstrating the widespread support for new solutions, and by establishing a clear goal to work towards.

The central challenge ahead will be determining where the funding for any new plan comes from. Some have floated the idea of raising the federal gas tax, which has remained steady since 1993, but significant opposition has expressed disapproval of this possibility. Another option that remains on the table is an overseas corporate revenue tax known as “repatriation.”

Despite the challenges associated with funding, hopes for a bipartisan solution persists.

Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) of the House Transportation Committee expressed optimism for progress in his upcoming negotiations with Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.

“We’re not going to agree on everything, but transportation is an area where we can find common ground and get something done for America,” Shuster said.

 
Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) of the House Transportation Committee expressed optimism for progress in his upcoming negotiations with Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.
 
“We’re not going to agree on everything, but transportation is an area where we can find common ground and get something done for America,” Shuster said.

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