Blumenauer: We Must End Crippling Uncertainty Around Transportation Funding

July 15, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC– Today, following House passage of H.R 3038, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2015, Part II, Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) called on Congress to stop pointing fingers and finally act on a fully funded, long-term transportation bill.

“Once again, Congress is letting itself off the hook. A year ago today, the House passed an extension to give us enough time to find a long-term solution. And yet, we did nothing. With another short-term extension—the 34th in six years—we are failing to adequately invest in our communities, and the uncertainty for states and local governments is crippling,” said Representative Blumenauer. “It’s embarrassing we’re at this point once again, and I voted against H.R. 3038 because it is time for Congress to face reality. Congress needs to return to regular order, address this problem head on, and find a dedicated, long-term solution to transportation funding. There’s a simple solution to the impasse—the one President Reagan championed in 1982, the one that six states led by Republican governors have enacted already this year—an increase in the gas tax.”  

This year, Representative Blumenauer 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, providing $210 billion in additional investments in America’s roads, bridges, and transit systems 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.