The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s top Republican, John Mica (Fla.), wants to see a large boost in highway and transit funding in the bill that succeeds SAFETEA-LU in 2009. In a May 6 meeting with reporters, Mica said, “I’m going to shoot for a total value of $1.5 trillion” over five years. That target would include about $500 billion in the basic bill, up from SAFETEA-LU’s $286 billion, plus bonding and other “creative financing” to produce another $500 billion in infrastructure and $500 billion more from public-private ventures.

To pay for the plan, Mica says he will recommend the range of options a surface transportation commission called for in January, which included higher federal and state fuels taxes.