As one of our over 6.5 million FreedomWorks activists nationwide, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to vote NO on the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014, H.R. 5021, which would dump an additional $10.8 billion of funding into the broken Highway Trust Fund (HTF) without addressing the structural problems therein.
The HTF is a federal program that is used to fund various infrastructure projects around the country. Since 2009, however, it has been teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, with numerous revenue collecting mechanisms imposing fees that are largely arbitrary and ineffective on a wide variety of individuals and groups, many of whom have little to no connection with actual road use.
The HTF is currently operating under a structural deficit of $15 billion a year. Yet rather than address this problem, lawmakers have repeatedly used block grants and direct transfers from the general fund as temporary fixes to a systemic problem. A responsible solution would be to devolve the HTF to the authority of individual states, each of which could propose a funding method that meets the needs of their citizens. Instead, this bill will force lawmakers to pursue alternate means of federal funding, such as increasing the already high gas tax to offset the additional spending.
Even for this short-term bailout, which only funds the HTF through May of 2015, the government is relying upon budget gimmicks that promise more revenue in the future to offset spending for this year.
Lawmakers have to stop passing the buck by simply throwing taxpayer money at a broken system. This bill represents the kind of irresponsible, shortsighted spending for which Washington has become infamous.
Please contact your Representative and ask that they vote NO on the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014. FreedomWorks will count any vote on this bill as a Key Vote when calculating our Economic Freedom Scorecard for 2014. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of Congress who consistently vote to support economic freedom.
Matt Kibbe, President and CEO, FreedomWorks