Carper Statement on “Irresponsible” Transportation Conference Report

"I'm a strong supporter of investment in our nation's transportation systems, but Congress's failure to lead on this issue is simply irresponsible."

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), senior member of the Environment and Public Works committee, released the following statement after members of the House-Senate Conference Committee released a final multi-year transportation report.

“As a strong supporter of investment in our nation’s transportation systems, I deeply regret that I cannot support the final transportation conference report,” Senator Carper said. “While the proposal includes some good transportation policies, the way the bill is paid for is simply irresponsible. Rather than leading, Congress is passing the buck by using a grab bag of budget gimmicks and poaching revenues from unrelated programs for years to come in order to pay for today’s transportation needs.

“This bill sets a terrible precedent. It sets bad transportation policy that undermines the user-pays principle, which has been the bedrock of investment in our nation’s highway and transit systems for more than half a century. And it sets bad fiscal policy that will actually increase our deficit in the long run. Congress has missed an opportunity to pay for this bill honestly by raising transportation user fees, simply because we lack the courage to ask those who use our nation’s transportation system to pay a little more for its upkeep and expansion.”