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Fund shortfall may impair Oklahoma road projects, Sen. Jim Inhofe says

CHRIS CASTEEL, Washington Bureau Published: June 3, 2009

/> "This will be done by cancelling new projects and existing contracts that have already been signed, in addition to slowing down projects that have already broken ground,” Inhofe said.

"Clearly this would have a detrimental effect on the economy and will negate any gains made by the stimulus — which as I’ve said before, dramatically underinvested in infrastructure.”

Inhofe rejects tax hike
Senators on the committee said the trust fund posed a long-term problem for the nation’s roads and bridges that needs to be addressed sometime this year when a new highway bill is written.

Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, said the federal gas tax would have to be increased so funding could keep pace with the nation’s need for road improvements.

But Inhofe, R-Tulsa, told reporters that he wouldn’t agree to a tax increase.

He acknowledged that the gas tax, at its current level, won’t generate enough money to pay for the next highway bill.

But he added that the administration should instead shift some of the new money it is planning to spend on social programs to transportation.