House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Ranking Democrat Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) described for a February 26 gathering of state transportation department officials in Washington, D.C., the importance of federal investment to the nation’s transportation network. DeFazio displayed ARTBA’s map that demonstrates how much each state relies on federal highway investment for their highway and bridge capital improvements.
He commended EPW Chairman Inhofe for his public opposition to devolving federal surface transportation investment to the states. He also criticized proposals from the Obama Administration and a host of members of Congress who want to use one-time revenue generated from forcing U.S.-based multinational companies to transfer or “repatriate” overseas profits to the U.S. at a reduced tax rate and allocating the resulting tax receipts to the HTF. DeFazio questioned whether such a plan would generate the necessary revenue, and even if it did, it would not be completed before the next HTF revenue crisis later this summer. DeFazio’s comments differ with T&I Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), who has repeatedly referred to repatriation as a viable HTF solution.