Speaking on the public radio show The Takeaway today, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood seemed pretty happy about his administration's pay-for for the transportation bill.
Asked if he supported using fossil fuel drilling fees to pay for transportation, as the House has suggested, LaHood said this (about 5:40 into the interview):
"What I support is what the President put out Monday -- paying for transportation using the highway trust fund, and taking the other half from the Iran Afganistan war fund. The president has been criticized royally for three years for not putting forth a pay-for, well he did it this year. (italics ours) He’s paying for making progress in transportation. He’s paying for innovation, he’s paying for safety programs. He’s paying for the enhancements that people all over America want.
LaHood also said the administration remains committed to high speed rail. "We've spent $10 billion -- $10 billion. That's not chump change, that's real money. We have one of the strongest passenger rail programs in the history of transportation."
The proposed budget has about $50 billion for passenger rail over the next six years.
Listen to the full interview here.