Blumenauer: Ways and Means Hearing Could Be Step Forward to Finding Solution to Transportation Funding Crisis

June 10, 2015
Press Release
Washington, DC – Today, Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) released the following statement on the upcoming Ways and Means Committee hearing on long-term funding of the Highway Trust Fund, scheduled on Wednesday, June 17.
“For too long, we’ve avoided how to address the insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund. We cannot afford to continue with short-sighted policies and 33 short-term extensions. This scheduled hearing could be a step forward to finding a sustainable, long-term solution to pay for infrastructure in our nation that’s falling apart as we fall behind. Before we debate in the Committee, it would be helpful to truly listen to the many stakeholders who build, maintain, and use our transportation system, instead of only considering narrowly tailored academic viewpoints. I hope that this marks the beginning of a number of hearings to bring the Committee up to speed and ultimately follow regular order.”
Representative Blumenauer, a longtime champion in Congress for transportationfunding, this year introduced H.R. 680, the Update, Promote, and Develop America’s Transportation Essentials (UPDATE) Act, which would phase in a 15 cent per gallon tax increase over three years on gasoline and diesel to provide $210 billion in the next decade. Additionally, in an effort to work towards replacing the gas tax entirely, Representative Blumenauer has also introduced H.R. 679, the Road Usage Charge Pilot Program Act, to establish a road usage charge pilot program to study mileage-based fee systems.