clear
Sunday February 7th, 2016 9:15PM
5:27PM ( 3 hours ago ) Weather Alert

White House to focus on road, bridge repair

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- With time running out, the White House was preparing to press Congress next week to keep money flowing into a federal fund for road and bridge repairs, warning of economic harm, lost aid to states and idled construction workers unless lawmakers act.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has said the federal Highway Trust Fund is expected run dry by late August. Without congressional action, transportation aid to states will be delayed and workers will be laid off at construction sites nationwide, Foxx said.

To that end, the White House will spend next week highlighting the issue and pressing for action. In contrast to President Barack Obama's 2014 goal to act without Congress wherever he can, the highway funding issue is not one he can solve on his own.

On Wednesday, Obama is scheduled to speak in front of the crumbling Tappan Zee Bridge, a major Hudson River crossing north of New York City, to press for action. A replacement is currently being built for the nearly 60-year-old, 3-mile span at a cost of $3.9 billion, largely financed by bonds that will be paid for through higher bridge tolls.

In New York, Obama will also highlight steps the administration has taken to cut red tape, modernize the federal permitting process and reduce the timelines for approving projects, assistant White House press secretary Matt Lehrich said Saturday.

On Friday, the president plans to discuss infrastructure with workers in the Washington area.

Vice President Joe Biden will also be involved. On Tuesday, he is to tour a project in St. Louis where a pedestrian bridge is being built over Interstate 70 to make it easier and safer for people to get to the Gateway Arch. Then on Wednesday he heads to Cleveland, where an obsolete transit station is being replaced with a new, more energy efficient building. Both projects are federally funded.

The White House plans to open the week by releasing an analysis on Monday on the need to pay for these types of repairs and upgrades.

Senior administration officials will also be sent out to help sound the alarm.

Last month, the Obama administration sent Congress a four-year, $302 billion transportation plan. A highlight includes pumping about $150 billion into transportation programs beyond the money raised through fuel taxes. The additional spending would be paid for by changes to business taxes, including closing corporate loopholes.

The White House push also comes as a bipartisan group of senators, led by California Democrat Barbara Boxer, prepares to unveil a surface transportation proposal.

Obama unveiled his transportation plan during a trip to St. Paul, Minnesota, earlier this year.

The White House would prefer to see Congress adopt the president's approach, but is most concerned about getting an acceptable, long-term bill that could earn the president's signature and provide the certainty that cities, states and businesses want to see before they commit to large projects that take years to complete.

Lawmakers in both parties have been reluctant to raise the 18.4-cent-a-gallon federal gasoline and 24.4-cent diesel taxes that are the main sources of revenue for the Highway Trust Fund. Neither tax has been raised since 1993. In the two decades since, inflation has driven up construction costs and the amount of revenue flowing into the fund has lagged because motorists are driving less and vehicles are more fuel efficient. The reluctance to hike the fuel taxes has left the fund constantly teetering on the edge of insolvency.

---

Associated Press writer Joan Lowy contributed to this report.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 1 year ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 1 year ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 1 year ago )
U.S. News
State DOT awards $48M contract for NE Ga. road project
The state Department of Transportation has awarded a $47.8 million contract for nine miles of work on a northeast Georgia road.
9:37AM ( 1 year ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 1 year ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 1 year ago )
Maysville man dies from Banks County wreck
The Georgia State Patrol reports that alcohol and/or drugs were factors a single-vehicle wreck that claimed the life of a Maysville man in Banks County Tuesday night.
11:07AM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 1 year ago )
Conviction of Putin foe sets off protest in Moscow
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.
6:03PM ( 1 year ago )
More Georgians signing up for health insurance
A federal report says more Georgians have selected health insurance plans through a federally facilitated marketplace.
4:16PM ( 1 year ago )
Politics
Search for Missouri couple wanted for crimes across the South, including Ga., ends with one suspect dead and the other wounded
A weeklong search for a Missouri couple wanted in a series of robberies and abductions across the South ended with one suspect dead and the other wounded Friday, after authorities say they chased the pair across the highway and through a rural neighborhood and exchanged gunfire with them in Florida's Panhandle.
By The Associated Press
9:57PM ( 1 day ago )
Cheap oil will be sticking around for a while, buoying consumers, frustrating oil producers
Cheap oil will be sticking around for a while.That reality is wreaking havoc and causing uncertainty for some governments and businesses, while creating financial windfalls for others. Less expensive...
6:18PM ( 5 days ago )
Cruz (R) expected to claim conservative Iowa caucus victory, with Clinton (D) and Sanders (D) deadlocked among liberal vote
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz swept to victory in Iowa's Republican caucuses Monday, overcoming billionaire Donald Trump and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were deadlocked in a tight race.
By The Associated Press
10:55PM ( 5 days ago )
America, its politics in flux as voting begins
On the eve of the first contest on the 2016 presidential election calendar, some voters are pushing for bolder, more uncompromising action, with an intensity that has shaken both the Republican and Democratic establishments.
By The Associated Press
9:00PM ( 1 week ago )
Piedmont College biology professor says getting rid of mosquito breeding areas key to control of Zika virus
The World Health Organization says the Zika virus is likely to spread to every area of the U.S. where the mosquito that carries it can be found - and that includes Georgia.
By Russell Brown
9:38AM ( 1 week ago )