Senator Bob Corker, R-Tn., said he would support a two-year reauthorization of federal highway funding if changes were made to responsibly pay for the legislation. The Senate approved on Wednesday the highway bill that authorizes $109 billion in spending over the next two years but uses budget gimmicks to pay for it over ten years, violating spending limits in place for this year. Since 2008, Congress has transferred a total of $35 billion from general federal revenues to pay for highway spending that exceeds Federal Highway Trust Fund revenues, which contributes to the deficit. Senator Corker offered two alternatives to offset the deficit impact of the legislation. Both amendments were defeated, so he voted against the bill.
“I’m a strong supporter of highway infrastructure in Tennessee and throughout America, but paying for two years of spending over a decade contributes to the deficit and demonstrates that Congress can’t even uphold modest limits on spending enacted just last August,” Senator Corker said. “As the House of Representatives takes up the Senate highway bill, I strongly urge them to fix the legislation so that we either spend only what the trust fund takes in each year or fully offset any additional spending on a current basis, as my amendments would have required us to do.”