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Chao Supports HTF at Confirmation Hearing

In her Jan. 11 confirmation hearings, Elaine Chao, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for DOT secretary, stated her support for funding the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) and for creating a task force on Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan.

“The U.S. Department of Transportation has a rare opportunity to shape the transformation of our critical infrastructure,” Chao said in her statement before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.  “The chance to lead the department at this historic time is a great honor.”

When questioned about the solvency of the HTF, she noted that the fuel tax that provides about 90 percent of the fund’s revenues does not bring in as much money as it had in the past and that other payment mechanisms must be examined.

In her statement, Chao, a former DOT deputy secretary and U.S. secretary of labor, said “infrastructure in need of repair … growing congestion, and … a failure to keep pace with emerging technologies” are threatening the nation’s transportation infrastructure, which she called “the underpinning of our world-class economy.”

She also said DOT should work with states to ensure that federal funds are used to improve transportation system performance and project delivery.

As Passenger Transport went to press, no date had been scheduled for a committee vote.
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