April 20, 2014

Federal highway bill faces roadblocks

Wisconsin Congressman Tom Petri (R-WI) says funding remains one the biggest roadblocks to approving a new federal transportation bill. The Fond du Lac Republicans says the renewal of the bill has been delayed for years because lawmakers have been unable to reach an agreement.

User fees through fuel taxes have been paying for highway improvements for years, but those revenues have dropped off as gas prices have gone up, travel has declined, and vehicles have gotten more fuel efficient. Petri says the money currently coming in is only enough to cover about 60 percent of what the federal government is spending.

AUDIO: US Rep. Tom Petri (:19)

Petri says some countries are now using satellite technology and GPS tracking to determine how many miles people travel, along with identifying certain times of day that can be effective for taxing motorists. However, he says the US is not ready to start taking that approach.

Bob Nelson, KFIZ