When the Senate Committee on Environmental and Public Works (EPW) recently released its proposal for a six year reauthorization of the current highway and surface transportation law (MAP-21), little was included to reform long term problems or reduce waste.
According to The Heritage Foundation, one of the EPW’s key failings is that the bill proposes increased spending on core highway programs, but it does not reduce spending elsewhere. This will only continue Congress’s habit of “increasing spending when the money is not there, which is one reason why the balance in the Highway Trust Fund is nearly depleted.”
Another key problem of the EPW proposal is the failure to eliminate the diversion of federal gas taxes to fund purely local programs and activities that have no relationship to road and bridge improvements. For example, bicycle paths and historical looking street lamps have been funded under the Transportation Alternatives Program.
, Highway Funding