Senator: Long-term Highway Fund deal 'will be difficult to achieve'

U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R- UT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, recently released a statement about the committee’s hearing concerning sustainable and responsible funding solutions for the Highway Trust Fund.

“Right now, when it comes to highways, we find ourselves caught in a familiar dilemma, between raising taxes or cutting back on the highway program,” Hatch said. “As always, a long-term, bipartisan solution to this dilemma will be difficult to achieve and, some days, it almost seems out of reach.

“I want to make it clear at the outset that my goal as chairman of this committee is to find a way to fund a long-term infrastructure bill,” Hatch said.

“We’ve all heard that the gold standard for a long-term highway bill is six years. That’s what everyone apparently wants to see happen,” Hatch said. “Of course, according to (Congressional Budget Office), a six-year highway bill that maintains the current spending baseline will cost roughly $92 billion.

“You don’t find that kind of money by sifting through the cushions of your couch,” Hatch said. “It’s going to take hard work and real policy changes to get us anywhere near that level of funding.

“And, once again, that’s if we maintain current spending levels,” Hatch said. “I know that some of my colleagues believe we should raise the spending baseline at the same time, which would put even more pressure on highway funding and require us to find even more offsets to keep the trust fund solvent.”

“Long story short, a six-year highway bill is a great goal,” Hatch said. “I’m committed to working to get us as close to that goal as possible.”

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U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch

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