He gave the Obama Administration’s perspective on how our transportation projects can be funded. Here’s a sample.
Lew Parker: How will the upcoming actions by the supercommittee affect transportation projects like Metro, bridge repairs and local roads?
LaHood: We have not had much contact with the supercommittee. They’re just getting their sea legs ... We’re continuing to work 24/7 to persuade the Congress to pass the president’s jobs act, which would have significant dollars to put people to work quickly building roads, building bridges, putting transit systems in a state of good repair, also dollars available for high speed rail and runways, and certainly getting us into next generation technology.
So we’ll continue to keep an eye on the supercommittee, but for now, we believe the best way to get the economy moving, get people to work, is to pass the American Jobs Act. That’s what we’re encouraging Congress to do. That’s why we’re traveling the country. I’ve been in, I think now, maybe 10 states since Labor Day. Going to continue to travel, continue to promote the Congress passing a jobs act and a surface transportation bill.
In the video, LaHood also addresses this question from Derek Welborn: “Besides fuel taxes, where does the funding come from that is supposed to be used for our infrastructure? What is DOT’s budget, and where does the money go?”
LaHood elaborates in his response on the problems with having the gas tax be a funding source today. (It raises less money than it used to because it hasn’t been raised to account for inflation and because Americans are driving more efficient cars that use less gas.)
Other questions will be of interest to pedestrians and cyclists.