BUFFALO, NY/ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP/WBEN) - President Barack Obama says spending $300 billion to upgrade roads and railways is a worthy investment that will attract businesses and put people to work.
Obama outlined his transportation proposal Wednesday while visiting a light rail and bus station in St. Paul. The proposal will be in the budget he sends to Congress next week.
Obama wants Congress to provide $302 billion for the federal trust fund that pays for surface transportation projects, such as rebuilding roads and bridges.
Funding is set to expire later this year if Congress doesn't pass legislation in time.
Half of the money would come from overhauling the corporate tax system.
Obama also announced a $600 million competition for federal grants to help local governments pay for road and bridge-building projects.President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $300 billion to update the nation's roads and railways.
The Highway Trust Fund finances federal highway and transit programs but is forecast to go broke as early as August.
President of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership Dottie Gallagher Cohen said Wednesday morning that she thinks infrastructure is something worth spending on.
"I haven't seen what the President's plan is, but I will say that the partnership and business community would be much more likely to support economic stimulus that rebuilds infrastructure, than to provide additional services," Gallagher Cohen said.
The Highway Trust Fund needs $100 billion over the next six years just to maintain current spending levels. But Obama and Congress don't want to raise gas taxes to make up the gap.
Obama is proposing that half the $302 billion he's proposing come from an overhaul of corporate taxes, but he says he's open to other ideas.
He also plans to announce a $600 million competition for federal grants to fund infrastructure projects that create jobs.
Congressman Brian Higgins supports the President's proposal.
“Investing in our infrastructure has historically been a non-partisan issue and is something we should embrace and advance as a national priority," Higgins said in a statement. "In recent years we’ve spent more rebuilding the roads and bridges of Iraq and Afghanistan than here in the U.S. The time is now for nation building here at home.”
SEE BELOW: A snapshot of the Highway Trust Fund by the Congressional Business Office