Statements and Speeches

WASHINGTON - On Wednesday, March 14, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) spoke on the U.S. Senate floor to discuss amendments to bipartisan transportation legislation:

"Mr. President, let me first offer kudos to Senators Boxer and Inhofe for a job well done on this bipartisan transportation legislation.

"I’d like to talk for a minute or so about an amendment that I’ve filed to this legislation with Senators Kirk and Warner, to whom I offer my sincere thanks.

"Under current law, a small number of states around the country now enjoy the flexibility to implement tolls on Interstate Highways.

"Under the amendment I filed with Senators Kirk and Warner, some additional states could choose be apply for that same flexibility.

"States would only use the toll revenues—a type of user fee—to pay for additional transportation investments along these roads being tolled.

"In Delaware and a handful of other states, Interstate toll revenue is an important part of the state transportation budget.

"Senators Kirk, Warner, and I believe that other states should have the same option available to them.

"However, in an effort to move this critical transportation legislation forward, Senator Hutchison and I have both agreed not to offer our competing amendments to the bill.

"That being said, I filed this amendment in part because Congress needs to face the facts when it comes to transportation funding and declining gas tax revenues.

"If we want to pass another transportation bill when MAP-21 expires, we must address structural flaws in the Highway Trust Fund that are making long-term investment nearly impossible.

"I hope our respective amendments represent the beginning of an honest and important conversation about our nation's long term transportation needs, and how we can pay for them in a fiscally responsible way."