IN THE NEWS — Articles From Around the Country

Biden pushes for infrastructure funding deal – Vice President Biden pushed lawmakers on Thursday to reach a deal on boosting U.S. infrastructure funding this year.  – Keith Laing in The Hill – January 22, 2015

NJ Transportation Chief: Route 3 Cracks Widened Over Months – A section of a New Jersey bridge was closed because of fears that widening cracks could lead to its collapse, the state’s transportation commissioner said Thursday. – CBS New York/Associated Press – January 22, 2015

Gas tax push on fumes, House chairman says – Congress is unlikely to pass an increase in the federal gas tax this year, the chairman of the House Transportation Committee said Thursday. – Kevin Laing in The Hill – January 22, 2015

GOP targets budget process for tax reform – Several influential Republicans want to use a filibuster-proof budget procedure to overhaul the corporate tax code — rather than wield it as a weapon against Obamacare, as conservatives are demanding. – Manu Raju and Burgess Everett in Politico– January 13, 2015

Momentum builds in Congress for raising the federal gas tax – Record-low gas prices across the U.S. have given rise to fresh talk in Washington of raising the federal gas tax for the first time in over 20 years, with leading Republicans now saying a hike must not be ruled out. – Laura Barron-Lopez and Keith Laing in The Hill – January 9, 2015

Old tax, new tricks? — As gas prices continue to drop and the Highway Trust Fund cliff quickly approaches, an old idea is getting some new attention: raising the gas tax. Several influential Senate Republicans have expressed a tepid openness to a gas tax hike, not outright supporting an increase but not taking it off the table either. On the Democratic side, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin took it a step further Wednesday, saying it’s time to act. “Now’s the time do it. But we ought to do it in a thoughtful way,” Durbin said, adding that the regressive nature of the gas tax must be confronted to shield lower- and middle-income drivers. – Heather Caygle in Politico – January 8, 2015

Barbara Boxer: Won’t run again in 2016 — Longtime California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer will not run for reelection in 2016, she announced Thursday. Her decision means the loss of a major Democratic power player in the Senate, especially on the issue of the environment, and sets up what’s likely to be an intense race to replace her. Burgess Everett and Seung Min Kin in Politico – January 8, 2015

Dick Durbin: Time to raise gas tax As Congress stares down another looming highway cliff, an old idea is getting some new attention: Raising the gas tax. Burgess Everett and Heather Caygle in Politico – January 7, 2015

Boxer to GOP: Focus on highway bill, not Keystone – Newly-installed Republican leaders in the Senate should focus on approving a new transportation funding bill instead of pushing for passage of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said Wednesday. – Keith Laing in The Hill – January 7, 2015

Can a new Congress bail out transportation in five months? – As the smoke cleared on a new political reality last week, transportation was a bit of an afterthought in the “what will the election mean for” discussion, which focused mostly on immigration, health care, trade agreements and tax reform. Roads, bridges and transit got a fleeting nod as “infrastructure,” the more elegant-sounding category to which they belong. – Ashley Halsey III in The Washington Post – November 10, 2014