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Oklahoma transportation officials say it will provide $643 million to the state in its first year. Slight increases to match inflation in the subsequent four years, they say, should bring the state’s total to about $3.4 billion.
Funds from the federal gas tax will cover most, but not the entire cost of the measure. The act will call for $70 billion in subsidies from other sources, including $53.3 billion from the surplus of the Federal Reserve Bank and $6.9 billion [from] reducing the dividends that are paid to banks who are members of the Fed.
The legislation received overwhelming bipartisan support in the House, where members approved it by a vote of 359 to 65. The Senate passed it Thursday night, 83 to 16.
Critics believe this is a broken model for funding road and bridge projects in the states. They say federally funding highway projects is inefficient and overpriced. Others say the measure will leave the federal Highway Trust Fund in need of a massive bailout at the conclusion of the five-year period.
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