Proposed bill would secure road, bridge funding

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) said Thursday he has introduced proposed legislation known as the DRIVE (Developing Roadway Infrastructure for a Vibrant Economy) Act of 2015.

Massie joined Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Justin Amash (R-MI), Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) and Ken Buck (R-CO) as original co-sponsors. 

The DRIVE Act would help keep funding flowing to the Highway Trust Fund and help improve national infrastructure without having to raise fuel taxes.

Currently, gas tax revenue is diverted from the federal Highway Trust Fund for bike paths, sidewalks, mass transit and other local projects," Massie said. "But due to inflation and fuel efficiency improvements of today's vehicles, there is no longer enough money in the Highway Trust Fund to maintain our nation's critical highways and bridges while also funding local projects that have no federal nexus. By eliminating diversion of gas tax revenues, the DRIVE Act ensures that the Highway Trust Fund can fulfill its namesake duty – to fund highways, without an increase in the gas tax rate.”

Roadway infrastructure is an important part of the nation’s economy and security. Currently, a fuel tax of 18.4 cents tax per gallon funds the Highway Trust Fund, but it doesn’t generate enough revenue for MAP-21, a 2012 bill that oversees federal surface transportation.

The DRIVE Act would repeal these authorizations and reduce Highway Trust Fund obligations by approximately $10 billion annually.