Action Needed on Highway Trust Fund Fix
The Senate this week began debate on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill, although the likely timing of final passage is uncertain. AGC has urged completion of this legislation which has been languishing for over a year; meanwhile, two Committees with jurisdiction over how to fund the necessary improvements to our Nation's aviation infrastructure reached a compromise.
The compromise bill would increase the tax on jet fuel used in general aviation from 21.8 cents per gallon to 36 cents per gallon. The deal also eliminates a proposed $25 per flight surcharge. As previously agreed, Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding would increase by $100 million per year from $3.9 billion in FY 2009 to $4.1 billion in FY 2011. The House has already passed its version of the FAA reauthorization bill.
AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr spoke in support of a provision by U.S. Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.), left, and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), right, to restore $5 billion to the Highway Trust Fund.
Included in the compromise bill is a provision Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and ranking member Charles Grassley (R-IA) included in their Committee's version of the legislation that would provide the revenue necessary to keep the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) solvent through FY 2009, allowing for the SAFETEA-LU authorized funding levels to be maintained. Absent the Baucus/Grassley fix, states could see a 32 percent reduction in Federal highway funds in FY 2009. Support for the Baucus/Grassley fix has been a top legislative priority for AGC. AGC’s CEO Stephen E. Sandherr participated in a news conference Thursday with Sens. Baucus and Grassley proclaiming AGC’s support and pointing out that many states have been forced to cut back the number of highway contracts going to bid due to increased construction material costs and the diminished purchasing power of the gas tax.
The Bush Administration has opposed the Baucus/Grassley provision to provide funds necessary to keep the HTF from going into deficit in FY 2009. Many Republicans oppose the fix, as included in this bill, and an amendment may be proposed to strip the HTF provision. Action is necessary to help ensure that the HTF fix is included in the FAA reauthorization bill. Send a letter to your Senators from the AGC Legislative Action Center and ask them to support the Baucus/Grassley proposal.
For more information, contact Karen Bachman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 547-4733.
return to top ]