ST. PAUL, Minn. — Caught between a gridlocked Congress and a Highway Trust Fund that will soon be broke, President Obama on Wednesday urged lawmakers to overhaul corporate and business taxes to pay for repairing and replacing the nation’s aging roads, rails, bridges and tunnels.
New legislation to pay for transportation projects is an urgent priority for both parties because the highway fund is nearing insolvency. Anthony R. Foxx, the transportation secretary, has said the fund could begin “bouncing checks” by this summer. That would force a halt to construction projects around the country, officials have said, and could undermine as many as 700,000 jobs.
The president’s proposal, which he first suggested in a speech last summer in Chattanooga, Tenn., would eliminate business and corporate tax loopholes to finance a four-year, $302 billion transportation bill. White House officials declined to be specific, but said they would try to eliminate incentives for companies to ship jobs overseas.