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The house just passed a ninety day extension of the current federal highway funding bill now the senate must pass the extension or the funds for highway construction.
As well -- eighteen point four cent gas tax could expire this weekend.
No longer term solution last week the senate approved.
A 109 billion dollar two year bill house speaker John Boehner has proposed a 260 billion dollar five year bill.
But Boehner says he is now working on a new transportation bill great calling.
Is president and CEO of the American highway users -- alliance.
They represent motorists and truckers and other groups whose businesses rely on the highway system thanks so much for joining us.
-- -- -- would continue fight is about here is it about the amount of money is it about how they're slicing up the pork what's it really about.
Well it's it's two different bills we have a two year senate bill we have a five year house bill it's a lot of money involved and there's a lot of reform.
Back in the not too distant past we had bills that were filled with earmarks and we had.
Or more of the house and senate voting for -- it's harder to get things done when you reform the programs.
So what's being reformed and left out.
Well there's about a hundred different programs that are now being consolidated down -- but the house and senate bills to about.
Fifteen to twenty.
Major import and programs.
We have we're gonna -- of the earmarks where streamlining a lot of the red tape that occurs in -- in ten.
So there's all there's a lot of changes going on.
But also we have a shortfall in the revenue from the gas tax to pay for at all so paying for these bills whether it's a two year bill in the senate -- five your -- house.
It costs money and it's -- and it's hard to figure out how to get.
A majority of -- to get that done.
And that's why you say you support a small increase in the gas tax what's the ideal percentage -- is -- higher or lower than where we are right now with the extension.
Well that was just passed by the house but will likely go through the senate as well.
Well I mean.
We support a higher gas tax over time with reform to the program but let me just say that that's not happening now that's not even on the table.
I think what we need to do now is get.
The house bill -- which is the five year bill and have to negotiate with the senate and if the public.
Is it has regain trust in the highway trust fund in the way that congress is allocating this money and I think over time they'll be able to make the case.
That higher user fee is important to build our infrastructure.
A case you're confident -- this extension will pass -- -- which.
Which planet are you in favor of it sounds like -- house plant just gets on the record.
Well actually I'm not sure the said the S senate will pass the extension I hope they do they -- it requires no unanimous consent.
If -- they don't then the federal highway administration and the Federal Transit Administration -- shut down.
And construction will be halted and in large areas of the country so hopefully it will pass we don't wanna see government shut down.
I like the house bill and the senate bill I think that between the two.
They need to get past partisanship they need to get past just the way Washington is -- -- Pick something like highways which are supported by -- sides yeah I'm compromising get a bill done.
But -- real quick -- -- you can see why people at home would be rooting for this to fails thinking that they would get a break from this eighteen point four cent tax right now gas prices are so high.
Why should they not be -- -- that.
Well I mean.
If you if if I mean if people want to save eighteen cents a gallon and have are set our highway system fall apart we're not gonna be other.
Compete with the world we're not gonna get goods to market -- -- going to be -- -- congestion we're not Camille invest in safety.
So it's it's one of the smallest gas taxes in the world.
And it goes all of that money goes into a trust fund that's used for transportation.
So it's it's not simply -- tax.
That that rises with the price of fuel it's a relatively low tax.
That is -- user -- and we really get closer everything falling apart -- But if you shut down the federal program.
You're you're basically putting the country on a path towards.
Not being able to compete with the other economies of the world.
Okay everyone happen instantly yeah.
Go ahead finish your point it won't happen instantly.
-- won't happen instantly but but it is -- it would in basically you're talking also about laying off.
Thousands and thousands of people off one time that's a good point great Kan thanks so much for joining us we appreciate it.
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