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Neal Announces Hearing on Long-Term Financing Options For the Highway Trust Fund, including Member Proposals

July 16, 2009
Press Release

House Ways and Means Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) announced today that the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures will hold a hearing on possible long-term measures to finance the Highway Trust Fund, including specific Member proposals that have been introduced in the 111th Congress. The hearing will take place on Thursday, July 23, 2009, in the main Committee hearing room, 1100 Longworth House Office Building, beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Oral testimony at this hearing will be limited to Members of the House of Representatives and other invited witnesses. However, any individual or organization not scheduled for an oral appearance may submit a written statement for consideration by the Committee and for inclusion in the printed record of the hearing.

FOCUS OF THE HEARING:

The hearing provides Members the opportunity to speak on behalf of specific proposals they have introduced that would affect the long-term funding for the Highway Trust Fund. Following the Members’ testimony, invited witnesses will comment on those and other proposals.

BACKGROUND:

The current authorization of surface transportation programs expires on September 30, 2009. Federal highway and transit expenditures are derived from the Highway Trust Fund. The Highway Trust Fund was established in the Highway Revenue Act of 1956 (P.L. 84-627) to meet certain financial obligations incurred for the construction of the interstate highway system and other federally financed highways, and was codified in Section 9503 of the Internal Revenue Code by the Highway Revenue Act of 1982 (P.L. 97-424). The Trust Fund was designed to be a self-financing mechanism using new and existing highway user taxes.

Recently, the balance of the Highway Trust Fund has fallen dramatically. Last year, $8 billion was transferred from the general fund of the U.S. Treasury to the Highway Account. In order to guarantee long-term stability for surface transportation programs, any long-term reauthorization must also include a stable source of revenue to support program funding.

In announcing the hearing, Chairman Neal stated, “An efficient and functional transportation network is crucial to maintaining the livelihood of the American people and the growth of the American economy. This hearing will address options before the Congress to provide the necessary long-term funding for investment in an economically sound and environmentally responsible way.”

DETAILS FOR SUBMISSION OF WRITTEN COMMENTS:

Please Note: Any person(s) and/or organization(s) wishing to submit for the hearing record must follow the appropriate link on the hearing page of the Committee website and complete the informational forms. From the Committee homepage, https://waysandmeans.house.gov , select “Committee Hearings.” Select the hearing for which you would like to submit, and click on the link entitled, “Click here to provide a submission for the record.” Once you have followed the online instructions, complete all informational forms and click “submit” on the final page. ATTACH your submission as a Word or WordPerfect document, in compliance with the formatting requirements listed below, by close of business Thursday, August 6, 2009. Finally, please note that due to the change in House mail policy, the U.S. Capitol Police will refuse sealed-package deliveries to all House Office Buildings. For questions, or if you encounter technical problems, please call (202) 225-1721.

FORMATTING REQUIREMENTS:

The Committee relies on electronic submissions for printing the official hearing record. As always, submissions will be included in the record according to the discretion of the Committee. The Committee will not alter the content of your submission, but we reserve the right to format it according to our guidelines. Any submission provided to the Committee by a witness, any supplementary materials submitted for the printed record, and any written comments in response to a request for written comments must conform to the guidelines listed below. Any submission or supplementary item not in compliance with these guidelines will not be printed, but will be maintained in the Committee files for review and use by the Committee.

1. All submissions and supplementary materials must be provided in Word or WordPerfect format and MUST NOT exceed a total of 10 pages, including attachments. Witnesses and submitters are advised that the Committee relies on electronic submissions for printing the official hearing record.

2. Copies of whole documents submitted as exhibit material will not be accepted for printing. Instead, exhibit material should be referenced and quoted or paraphrased. All exhibit material not meeting these specifications will be maintained in the Committee files for review and use by the Committee.

3. All submissions must include a list of all clients, persons, and/or organizations on whose behalf the witness appears. A supplemental sheet must accompany each submission listing the name, company, address, telephone, and fax numbers of each witness.

Note: All Committee advisories and news releases are available on the World Wide Web at https://waysandmeans.house.gov.