Chair of the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, Sen. Susan Collins, led a hearing on the 2016 fiscal year budget request for the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), her office announced Wednesday.
She stated that the current proposal is a "band-aid" approach that does not tackle the root of the problem. USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx gave testimony during this hearing.
“It is perplexing to hear the dministration talk about how important our nation’s infrastructure is, yet at the same time, continue to remain silent on trust fund reforms that must be put in place in order to address our crumbling infrastructure now and in the future," Collins said. "Simply saying 'we are happy to work with Congress’ is not an acceptable answer … this is a critical year for transportation, both for the administration and for Congress.”
Her main complaint of the proposed plan was the channels from where the funding was supposed to come from. USA Streets Blog stated that this funding would be in the form of a tax assessment on corporate foreign earnings.
The hearing aimed to address the rule finalization on tank cars transporting oil and plans to combat a spill of crude oil. Foxx stated that the department is working with the Office of Management and Budget in order to finish that process.
Collins also stated that she has been a strong supporter of programs that would receive larger funding amounts like the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Program (TIGER).
"It has been essential to many bridge, railroad and port projects in my home state of Maine that would not have otherwise been undertaken when they needed to be,” Collins said.