Midstate congressman pushing long-term highway funding bill

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Sep 11, 2015 4:05 AM

Photo by Ben Allen/witf

(Harrisburg) -- A midstate congressman isn't hiding his frustration with the status of federal highway funding.

Republican Lou Barletta, who represents all of Columbia County and parts of Cumberland, Dauphin, Northumberland and Perry counties, says construction companies and subcontractors need to know what to expect.

In July, he voted against a bill that only ran through mid-December, saying it makes it hard for businesses to plan.

Barletta is supporting one ten-year proposal that would slightly raise the federal gas tax for a year, while a bipartisan committee works to come up with a funding solution.

"It doesn't make sense to find these one-time revenue sources without saying let's look at a user-based fee, but let's make a committment and an investment in America's infrastructure."

Barletta says a user fee, based on miles driven, could be more fair.

He adds: "I don't think it's fair that a senior citizen or somebody who doesn't use the infrastructure very much pay as much as me or someone else who drives."

He says with a long-term highway funding bill, construction companies would buy more equipment, spurring more economic growth across the country.

Barletta spoke during a visit to a Dauphin County highway equipment dealer.

Funding for the current transportation measure is expected to run out December 18th.

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