Sen. Carper Praises Reps. Petri and Blumenauer for Bipartisan Gas Tax Proposal, Calls for Congress to Act

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Environment & Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, released the following statement after Congressman Tom Petri (R-Wis.) joined Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s (D-Ore.) “Update, Promote and Develop America’s Transportation Essentials (UPDATE) Act” to restore the purchasing power of the gas tax.

“I’m glad to see that Congressman Tom Petri has joined Congressman Earl Blumenauer in endorsing the idea of gradually restoring the purchasing power of the federal gas tax to ensure that we can continue to maintain and invest in our nation’s roads, bridges, and transit systems. As a governor I saw firsthand how user fees, like the gas tax, are the most efficient and fairest way to pay for infrastructure investments. Both Congressman Petri and Congressman Blumenauer are leaders who carry clout on this issue, in particular, and I hope that their voices, along with the chorus of diverse groups calling for passing and funding a long-term transportation bill will get us that much closer to action in Congress.”

“Over the past few months, there has been a groundswell of support from people of all political stripes for a long-term funding solution for our nation’s infrastructure needs, including from key stakeholder groups and editorial boards. The time to act is now, but unfortunately this session is shaping up to be the lamest of lame ducks and I’m concerned Congress won’t do its job. If that proves true, then this is will be a huge missed opportunity to responsibly address our growing transportation funding crisis.

“Regardless of what happens between now and the end of the year, I am not giving up on solving this problem, and neither is the growing coalition of supporters across the country. If we fall short in getting a long-term highway transportation bill done in this Congress, the progress we’ve made in building a strong coalition and making the argument to the American people that we have to increase the gas tax to fund our infrastructure needs will be the foundation for success in the next Congress.”