Proposal to prevent federal funding for tolling in Oregon included in key transportation package

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives is set to consider H.R. 4820, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.
File photo

Language reflects No Tolls on Oregon Roads Act, which prohibits federal funding for tolling projects on I-5 and I-205

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, the U.S. House of Representatives is set to consider H.R. 4820, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The package includes language proposed by Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05), a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Highways and Transit Subcommittee, which would prevent federal funds from being used to carry out tolling projects along I-5 and I-205 in Oregon.

“At a time when families have already been paying more for gas, groceries, rent, and utility bills, tolling would impose a new tax on Oregonians – making them pay even more just to get to work. Simply put, I refuse to allow my constituents’ tax dollars to be spent on a project that would make them pay another tax. The ‘no to tolls’ message that has been repeated and echoed loudly and clearly by Oregonians has brought Republicans and Democrats together. Now that I’ve successfully secured language prohibiting federal funds from being used for tolling on I-5 and I-205 in Oregon, I hope that my colleagues in the Oregon delegation will listen to that bipartisan message, come together, and join me in supporting this bill,” Chavez-DeRemer said.

Since taking office, Chavez-DeRemer has been working hard to address Oregon’s flawed tolling plan. In June, she wrote to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Administrator Shailen Bhatt to raise concerns that Oregon’s tolling proposal might be out of compliance with federal law. After sending the letter, Chavez-DeRemer and Bhatt met to discuss the impact tolling could have on Oregon communities. Chavez-DeRemer then introduced the Tolling Transparency Act and the No Tolls on Oregon Roads Act. When U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg participated in an oversight hearing, she questioned him on the department’s ability to prevent state-led tolling proposals from moving forward on federal highways. Then, after gathering more input from local officials and residents, Chavez-DeRemer sent a detailed letter to Buttigieg urging DOT to review several key problems with the Oregon Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) process for implementing tolling.

Full text of H.R. 4820 is available HERE, with Sec. 429 containing the language that prohibits federal funding for “any program, project, or activity associated with the collection of tolls on Interstate Route 5 or Interstate Route 205 in the State of Oregon.”
 


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