President Obama hits road before running on empty next month

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) — President Obama will try to build support for more funding for highways, bridges and other infrastructure.

The Highway Trust Fund will be running on empty next month, just as Congress heads into a month-long summer break.

Republicans are proposing a short-term fix but say a gas-tax increase is a deal-breaker.

Obama is touring a facility on Tuesday that tests new highway technologies — as he looks for a way to get America’s existing highways fixed.

Obama hits the road to talk about highways and bridges — critical infrastructure and repairs that won’t get funded if congress doesn’t act before going on its summer break.

“That would put at risk nearly 700,000 jobs across the nation, and many active highway and transit projects would be threatened,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

Every pothole you hit is a reminder of the upkeep and repairs needed for an aging highway system.

The government estimates 65 percent of U.S. roads are in less-than-good condition.

Some 25 percent of bridges need significant repair, and to fix that the White House wants $300 billion over the next four years.

“If we don’t pass this transportation bill now, a lot of very bad things happen very soon,” said Vice President Joe Biden.

House Speaker John Boehner says the country doesn’t have the money, and he doesn’t have the votes.

“We’re not going to get to a long-term highway bill here over the next couple of months,” he said.

The White House is backing a shorter fix: $11 billion to fund projects over the next nine months — hoping to avoid gridlock on Capitol Hill and America’s highways.

The White House is throwing its weight behind a Republican-sponsored bill but hopes to get a long-term deal next year after the election.

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