Rep. Blumenauer: There Can Be No Surface Transportation Reauthorization Without Revenue

Washington, DC–-(ENEWSPF)–October 22, 2015.  Today, Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) released the following statement on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee markup of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015:

“Today, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will consider a surface transportation reauthorization. Sadly, simply calling it a ‘reauthorization’ doesn’t make it so. This legislation calls for a six-year period of reauthorization, and even claims to be funded for three years, but it doesn’t actually provide a single dime of revenue to the Highway Trust Fund. It’s a shell.

“It really doesn’t have to be this hard. There is a single solution that’s supported by everyone outside of Capitol Hill – one that has been embraced by six Republican states already this year and championed by Ronald Reagan when he was president – raise the gas tax.

“I’m glad my colleagues were able to reach a compromise in the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and put forth some interesting ideas. It gives a hint of what could happen if we had a real funding source, but we don’t. The bill being marked up raises more questions than it answers. Even if the House were to embrace it unanimously, we would still be where we were three months ago, six months ago, and so many times before that. We’re facing another short-term extension – and this would be the 35th – and providing zero assurance or long-term certainty to local governments.

“We can have markups and even pass a reauthorization shell on the floor of the House, but until we embrace H.R. 680 and raise the gas tax, finding revenue that is sustainable, dedicated, and big enough to do the job, we’re still going to keep spinning our wheels and America will be stuck.”