WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, welcomed the new Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) report, High Risk Series: An Update,GAO-07-310, January31,2007 released yesterday. The GAO High-Risk Series is the GAO’s view of what are the broad economic and/or effectiveness challenges that need to be addressed. Since 1990, GAO has issued periodic reports on government operations that are at "high risk" due to their vulnerabilities to fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement, or as in the case of the transportation component, policy areas they believe need attention because of their wide-ranging effect.
"The 2007 GAO High Risk Update correctly highlights the need for policy makers to conduct a critical review of existing transportation funding mechanisms," Senator Inhofe said. "As one of the primary authors of SAFETEA-LU, I concur with their analysis that how we pay for future transportation infrastructure requires a careful and thorough review. As mentioned in the GAO report, SAFETEA-LU established the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission to provide policy makers with a conceptual plan and alternative approaches to ensure that our transportation infrastructure network continues to serve both our personal and economic transportation needs.
"Reauthorization of the federal aid highway program will need to be done in 2009 and it would be my hope that in the intervening two years, House and Senate Committees of jurisdiction will use the time to explore how Congress can best address the long-term transportation needs and then how we pay for them. We must look at all options, including transiting into in new ways of collecting the necessary revenue to fund our transportation and mobility needs."