Highway Bill Falls Short of Long-Term Solution for Illinois Infrastructure
Congressman Randy Hultgren
July 15, 2014
Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) today opposed the passage of H.R. 5021, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act, which fails to address the underlying funding problems with the Highway Trust Fund and falls short of a long-term solution for Illinois’ infrastructure.
“The dynamics of improved fuel efficiency combined with an aging infrastructure have created a Highway Trust Fund that can no longer sustain itself and must rely on transfers each year from the general fund. Unfortunately, this bill doesn’t adequately address the long-term funding issues that concern my constituents in the 14th District. While I do appreciate the efforts of my colleagues in the House, we cannot keep filling the same pothole over and over again and expect a different result. Instead, we must pave a new way forward with a plan that creates a self-sustaining funding mechanism,” said Rep. Hultgren. “By some estimates, we are hundreds of billions of dollars a year behind in infrastructure projects, and another $10 billion, six-month transfer keeps a few projects going, but ultimately doesn’t address our needs in Illinois and provides no certainty for future funds. Pretty soon, there will be no federal money available to build the roads we need and repair our bridges if we don’t tackle this problem head-on. A six-month measure based on budgetary gimmicks is not a viable solution, and I could not vote in good conscience to support this bill.
“Illinois families, commuters and businesses depend on a reliable infrastructure. All sides must come together now to produce a long-term solution that honors the Budget Control Act and is flexible to our country's changing regional and state circumstances. I plan to continue discussions with local departments of transportation and constituents throughout the 14th District on how to come to a long-term, self-financing plan that is realistic about our infrastructure needs.”
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