ACT: Statement on Senators Murphy and Corker proposal to solidify Highway Trust Fund
Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Bob Corker (R-TN) announced a proposed framework yesterday to solidify the Highway Trust Fund, a transportation and infrastructure fund that finances road, bridge, transit, and infrastructure projects.
Under their framework, the gas tax will increase by 12 cents over the course of two years. Additionally, the gas tax will be indexed to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to guarantee the trust fund’s future viability.
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According to a press release issued by the two Senators, “this increase would provide enough funding to offset current MAP-21 spending levels over the next 10 years and replaces all of the buying power the federal gas tax has lost since it was last raised in 1993.”
The Senators also propose to permanently adopt a number of expired or expiring individual tax extenders.
Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) has introduced legislation in the House that would also increase the gas tax.
Without action, the Department of Transportation expects the trust fund to become insolvent by the end of July. House and Senate leaders are looking at ways to solidify the trust fund, and most expect Congress to pass a short-term patch in order to find a long-term solution.
ACT President Joshua Kavanagh said, “Thanks to Senators Murphy and Corker for offering a platform to solidify the Highway Trust Fund. Our nation’s economy depends on a strong infrastructure. The Highway Trust Fund has flirted with insolvency for several years. While short-term patches have helped avoid this, the lack of a long-term solution has caused uncertainty and had a significant effect on our transportation system. The Senators’ long-term proposal is not easy–proposing to raise taxes never is–but the need far exceeds the realm of politics.”