Monday, May 22, 2017
Graves: We need well-designed Highway Trust Fund to rebuild our infrastructure
Over the past year, the American people have made it clear that rebuilding our transportation network is a huge priority for this country. And when the people speak, it’s on Congress to act.
President Trump has talked at length about a $1 trillion bill to invest in our infrastructure. It’s true that we need to rebuild our bridges, repair our roads, refill potholes and rethink our transportation network entirely.
But, as the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, my real focus is on making sure we’re being responsible in how we pay for this plan. It is obviously nowhere near as simple as thinking we can throw $1 trillion at our infrastructure and then declare the problem solved.
It isn’t solved then, because we’ll be right back at this same place whenever that money is spent and whenever those projects are outdated. And that will happen.
The Highway Trust Fund - which funnels transportation revenues to states and allows them to invest in infrastructure as they see fit - needs to be redesigned for the 21st century. As vehicles on the road become more and more fuel efficient, the trust fund becomes less and less solvent.
What we need is a modern, sustainable, well-designed trust fund system that keeps revenues flowing and allows states to invest with clarity and certainty. With the senior position I hold on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, my focus is on finding that solution.
This will take creativity, compromise, and hard work, but that can be said for every legitimate solution to our most pressing problems. Goods and people moving keep our economy growing. But that can't - and won't - continue if our roads crumble, our bridges age and our infrastructure falls behind the rest of the world.
We need a fix to the HTF to solve those problems. And I intend to find it.