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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Sens. Boxer, Paul to introduce transportation funding bill; Sen. Collins to chair transportation subcommittee


U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have teamed up to introduce a transportation bill that would extend the Highway Trust Fund by bringing back some of the $2 trillion in corporate tax revenue now in overseas banks.

The proceeds from the tax reform process, known as repatriation, would be used to fund needed transportation infrastructure projects in the Untied States, the senators said in a joint press release. Companies would be allowed to voluntarily return their foreign earnings to the United States at a tax rate of 6.5 percent.

They intend to introduce their "Invest in Transportation Act of 2015" bill in the coming weeks, the senators said.

"I hope this proposal will jumpstart negotiations on addressing the shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund, which is already creating uncertainty that is bad for businesses, bad for workers and bad for the economy," said Boxer, who is ranking member of the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee.

She also plans to work with the committee's chairman and members on other proposals to pay for rebuilding the nation's infrastructure, Boxer said.

Paul said he was pleased to be working with Boxer on a bipartisan solution.

"All across the country, bridges and roads are deficient and in need of replacement," he said. "We can help fund new construction and repair by lowering the repatriation rate and bringing money held by U.S. companies back home. This would mean no new taxes, but more revenue, and it is a solution that should win support from both political parties."

Meanwhile, the Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday announced Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) will serve as chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the committee's Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee.

The subcommittee's jurisdiction includes the U.S. Department of Transportation.

"I will continue to advocate for responsible investments to improve our nation's aging infrastructure," Collins said in a press release. "I've seen first-hand the positive effects of investing in our ports, railroads, and crumbling roads and bridges, to improve safety, boost our economy, and create much-needed jobs."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/30/2015