President Obama on Wednesday will call for a clean extension of surface-transportation funding, industry lobbying sources tell National Journal.
Obama's request is an effort by the administration to avoid a standoff similar to the one over Federal Aviation Administration funding earlier this month, when Democrats and Republicans could not agree on provisions dealing with rural air service and unionization. Obama will also push for a clean extension of the FAA reauthorization, which expires in the middle of September.
The 18.4 cent-per-gallon gas tax expires on Sept. 30, which is part of the surface transportation funding mechanism. The influx of cash from the gas tax funds maintenance of roads, bridges, rail, and runways. Democrats and transportation industry participants have been touting the jobs created by infrastructure investment as an argument to continue funding at current levels. The White House has called for an increase in transportation funding and an infrastructure bank, but Obama's best hope is for a clean extension at current levels.
The president will appear with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Chief Operating Officer David Chavern, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood at a 10:35 a.m. event and will call for surface-transportation funding at the current level, without any cuts.