Congress faces highway funding battle, gridlock looms

White House press secretary Carney answers questions about health insurance during a briefing at the White House in WashingtonBy David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A slow-motion pile-up is coming into view on U.S. highways and Capitol Hill this summer: federal funding for road construction is running out and Congress faces a big fight over how to replenish it. The trucking industry, many state transportation directors and even a few lawmakers say the simple solution to shore up the Highway Trust Fund and avoid construction layoffs is to raise federal fuel taxes, unchanged since 1993. “We have never proposed or a supported a gas tax,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Monday. Republican House Speaker John Boehner also opposes an increase in fuel taxes, an aide said.

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