A rather exasperated President Barack Obama pressed Congress to find a solution to the looming Highway Trust Fund crisis, arguing “it’s not socialism” to want to build new highways and bridges in the country.
“It’s not crazy. It’s not socialism. It’s not the imperial presidency,” Obama said Tuesday afternoon during a speech in front of the Georgetown waterfront with the Key Bridge in the background. “We’re just building roads and bridges, like we have for the past 50 years.”
The Highway Trust Fund is a transportation and infrastructure fund financed by gasoline taxes. It is headed towards insolvency because the government now spends more money on those projects than it collects from the gas tax, which has not been raised in over 20 years.
The Obama administration has proposed a four-year, $302 billion solution to the highway crisis, which would end the trust fund’s dependence on the gas tax and replenish it through tax reforms. It was a plan Obama pushed Tuesday, while blaming the fund’s precarious position on Republican inaction.
“It’s not like they’ve been busy with other stuff! No, seriously,” Obama said.