(USA TODAY) -- As President Obama urges Congress to renew the Highway Trust Fund, his administration has put together a report on the less-than-ideal state of American infrastructure.
Bart Jansen, who covers transportation issues for USA TODAY, reports on the work of the Council of Economic Advisers and National Economic Council:.
The 27-page White House report reiterates that:
--With 4 million miles of road, 600,000 bridges and 3,000 transit providers, the country's investment in transportation lags behind growth in the economy. Meanwhile, population and congestion have grown.
--USA lags behind overseas investment in transportation, according to the World Economic Forum, whose ranking of the country's roads fell to 18th from 7th during the last decade.
--Nearly two-thirds (65%) of the country's roads are rated in "less than good" condition. One in four bridges require significant repair. Nearly half the population (45%) lacks access to transit.
"A modern transportation network is vital to our economy, and is a prerequisite for future growth," the report says.
But the White House will find little disagreement over the deterioration. The fight is over how to pay for maintenance.
The highway trust fund is expected to run out of funding for new projects in August, after which states will be reimbursed as gas taxes flow to the federal government. The 18.4 cent per gallon tax hasn't been raised in 20 years and doesn't keep pace with the demand for projects.
President Obama has proposed a four-year, $300 billion highway bill, with half the money coming from a corporate tax overhaul to complement the gas tax.
But neither the House nor Senate is expected to overhaul taxes this year. Lawmakers are also reluctant to raise the gas tax in an election year, leaving the highway program in political limbo.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who is speaking Thursday at the National Press Club, told reporters July 1 that the administration is sticking to its corporate-tax proposal, but is open to ideas approved by Congress. He declined comment on specific options that haven't yet won committee votes.
Each chamber is preparing legislation for a temporary extension of current highway policy, either for a few months or into early 2015, to allow time for a longer-term source of funding.