Funding for highways, bridges and other road infrastructure projects are partially funded through user fees paid into the Federal Highway Trust Fund. Cumulatively, since 1956, Oklahoma has received 98 percent of the fees paid into the fund back in allocations from the fund. In recent years, however, Oklahoma has received nearly 130 percent of the fees paid into the Highway Trust Fund.
The Highway Trust Fund is now close to being depleted because tax collections have declined over time, largely due to change in inflation, reductions in vehicle miles traveled and increased fuel economy standards. In fact, the federal fuel excise tax has not increased since 1993.
It is important to find a long-term solution to our infrastructure problem. I have introduced legislation with Congressman John Delaney (MD-06) that would create a private infrastructure bank to ensure vital investments are made to our roads. Clearly, the funding sources for the Highway Trust Fund are not adequate enough to keep up with the demands for maintaining and improving our infrastructure. Despite the challenges, I am committed to working to develop transportation and infrastructure solutions that benefit Oklahomans and all Americans.
More on Transportation
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and James Lankford (R-Okla) and Congressmen Steve Russell (R-Okla.) and Tom Cole (R-Okla.), today praised the passage of H.R. 5785, a bill which would ensure the continued safety of our nation’s airways by eliminating an unintended barrier to the hiring and retention of full-time Air Traffic Controller (ATC) Instructors. The bill removes a financial penalty for instructors willing to work full time in training our next generation of air traffic controllers.
With just a few short weeks left in the year, I am pleased to report that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in both chambers of Congress are working together to find common ground on issues that matter to the American people. In fact, last week alone brought with it legislative victories that proved the federal government can function under regular order--even when it is divided.
The Oklahoman - Chris Casteel
Congress gave strong bipartisan approval Thursday to a $305 billion highway bill that Oklahoma lawmakers praised for providing certainty to state officials planning critical road and bridge projects.
The bill, which President Barack Obama is expected to sign soon, will set the nation's surface transportation policy for the next five years and provide a boost in funding for highways and mass transit.
The Hill - Kevin Bogardus and Keith Laing
Lawmakers flooded the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with letters this spring pleading with the agency to keep open their local contract air traffic control towers, documents obtained by The Hill show.
Roughly 100 letters obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request show members of Congress were “letter marking” on the planned budget cuts from sequestration at the FAA.