From the letter we sent to Members of the U.S. House:

While Congress should refrain from further “bailouts,” in general, the Highway Trust Fund cannot possibly be considered a viable candidate for an infusion of taxpayer money, as it already soaked up an auxiliary $8 billion allocated last year from the General Fund for the same overspending that has once again caused it to run dry this year. Now is the time to look to rectify the practices that allow overspending to occur, instead of continuing to abet the spending by subsidizing the poor management of the fund.

Moreover, Members have been given ample opportunities to re-assess the rampant spending under SAFETEA-LU. H.R. 6534 was introduced last year to rescind unexpended funds for pork in the authorization bill to negate the overspending of the fund. Given that the 2005 highway bill misallocated over $20 billion to over 6,300 pork-barrel earmarks, including the infamous bridge to nowhere, this type of reprioritization could reasonably be expected to yield sufficient savings. However the effort failed.

Lawmakers also failed to take the opportunity to strike funding put forth for misguided high-speed rail projects in this year’s Transportation Appropriations Act and deposit the several billions slated for these ill-conceived projects into the trust fund instead.


However, if Congress insists on subsidizing mismanagement of the Highway Trust Fund, it should be done in a more prudent fashion by diverting unobligated funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the passage of which has not only failed to promote economic growth, but has in fact seen significant job losses in its aftermath.

Click here for the full letter.