Statements and Speeches

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement regarding the committee’s hearing on "Dead End, No Turn Around, Danger Ahead: Challenges to the Future of Highway Funding."

"I want to thank Chairman Hatch and Ranking Member Wyden for holding this important hearing about the crucial issue of funding our nation’s transportation system with a long-term bill. As we approach another highway funding deadline, I am doing all that I can to see that Congress does not continue to issue short-term funding patches that hinder the ability of states and cities to invest in improving and updating our roads, highways, bridges and transit systems.

"There is consensus in Congress that we need to find a way to pay for maintaining and updating the transportation system that was once the envy of the world. There is less agreement on how we pay for it. I have long advocated for gradually increasing the gas and diesel tax, which haven’t been raised since 1993, but I have also said I am open to any funding solution that gives our cities, states and businesses the certainty they need in a fiscally responsible way. That’s why I have approached many of my colleagues on this committee to find such a bipartisan, long-term solution for this problem we all agree needs fixing.

"I am encouraged by many of the conversations I’ve had, but talk is cheap. It is time that Congress confronts the issue at hand and works together to come up with a common-sense way to pass a funding bill that can ensure the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund. There are a number of potential solutions out there, but kicking the can with another short-term patch should not be one of them. The six previous patches in the past 10 years, largely funded by general fund transfers and gimmicks, should serve as evidence that this broken cycle needs a new path. I look forward to our discussion today and continuing to work with this committee and the rest of my colleagues in the Senate and House to find a funding solution."