Senator Carper Reacts to Murphy-Corker Proposal on Transportation Funding

WASHINGTON- Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure and member of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement after Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) announced their bipartisan proposal to fix the Highway Trust Fund by raising the federal gasoline and diesel taxes by six cents in each of the next two years and then index the taxes to inflation, using the Consumer Price Index.

“Multiple bailouts of the Highway Trust Fund have added more than $54 billion to our nation’s debt since 2009. That’s why in 2010, former Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and I called for a gradual increase in gas and diesel taxes – which have not been adjusted since 1993 – as part of any comprehensive deficit reduction plan. Today, I still believe that re-establishing the purchasing power of the fuel tax is the best policy for funding our federal transportation program. I am glad to see that this idea is gaining more bipartisan support as Congress continues to grapple with the need to shore up the Highway Trust Fund before it becomes insolvent this summer.”

In November 2010 Sens. Carper and Voinovich urged the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility, known as the Bowles-Simpson Commission, to adopt a similar increase in the federal gas and diesel taxes. The Commission adopted a modified version of their proposal. In the years since, Sen. Carper has repeatedly called for gradually increasing the gas tax to restore its purchasing power and index it to inflation to make the Highway Trust Fund solvent.