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CBO’s Joseph Kile: Highway Trust Fund Near Empty

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Congressional auditor Joseph Kile has called on lawmakers to address what he said were increasingly dwindling funds used to build, operate and maintain the nation’s highways, National Journal reported Tuesday.

Billy House writes Kile, assistant director for microeconomics studies at the Congressional Budget Office, testified at a Senate Finance Committee hearing this week that the Highway Trust Fund has been spending more than it is earning and that could mean a shortfall by the end of the fiscal year on Oct. 1.

He suggested several remedies such as cancelling contracts to cut back on promised spending and raising toll rates to raise revenues.

According to committee chair Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the fund would need as much as $100 billion to remain in the black for the next six years.

He called on a permanent fix to the problem and noted that the continuation of as much as 6,000 projects is on the line.

“Relying on short-term policies, emergency patches and temporary extensions makes forward-looking strategies impossible. And when it comes to infrastructure, planning ahead is absolutely essential,” Wyden said.

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