U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Peoria) has been touting a six-year highway improvement program for some time, and he’s now explaining how to pay for it – without borrowing or raising taxes.
Schock proposes leasing offshore energy exploration rights to supplant reduced motor fuel tax revenues, which traditionally fund road construction. Schock says the initial revenue stream would come from leasing fees
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“The amount of revenue we’ll be able to get from this first highway bill will be limited,” he says. “But in the longer term, the revenues will be quite significant.”
Schock says his plan is more robust than the president’s, which sets aside only $40 billion for infrastructure projects. He’s not sure where the president stands on the plan, but knows the House speaker is for it. He’s also not worried about it passing through the Democrat-controlled Senate.
The Republican transportation bill is $230 billion over six years, which is two-thirds of the previous transportation program.