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Calling Out Congress on Transportation

May 10, 2015 – Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx directed a broadside at Congress last week. “We ought to be embarrassed as a country” about the state of the nation’s infrastructure, he said, as lawmakers scramble to beat a May 31 deadline for extending federal transportation funds.RFTR Foxx 183

Lawmakers have talked about passing a $10 billion patch to extend transportation funding until the end of the year, but Foxx said temporary extensions are not sufficient enough to address the nation’s infrastructure needs.

“We just ought to be embarrassed that we have potholes in this country that aren’t filled; we have bridges that are crumbling; we have roads that need to be done; we have transit systems that are in a state of disrepair and others that we could be expanding; and we’re twisting in the wind,” Foxx continued.

He has pushed Congress to approve a six-year, $478 billion transportation funding measure, but lawmakers have balked at the proposal’s funding mechanism.

The Obama administration relies largely on taxing corporate profits made overseas at a 14 percent rate to generate revenue for road projects, but Republican leaders in Congress have said the plan, known as “repatriation,” should be offered as a voluntary "tax holiday" at a lower rate, and should be addressed in a broader tax reform package that has gone nowhere on Capitol Hill.