Today, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Transportation Empowerment Act (S. 1541), a bill which would give states and localities far more control over their infrastructure spending by phasing out the federal gas tax. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) plans to introduce a companion bill in the House soon.
“The federal government’s Highway Trust Fund is broke and another year of band aid funding is not going to fix it,” Sen. Lee said. “The Interstate Highway System was completed decades ago, drivers are buying less gas, and the federal government has wasted far too much money on non-highway projects. It is just an outdated system that is long overdue for reform.”
"American communities face a variety of transportation needs and it makes little sense to have Washington, DC serve as a bureaucratic middleman for basic projects,” Rep. DeSantis said. “I am proud to join with Senator Lee and offer modern reforms to our nation’s transportation policy through the Transportation Empowerment Act. Giving states the flexibility to tackle their own infrastructure needs will lower costs while improving responsiveness to the problems unique to each community.”
“Our bill would update today’s broken infrastructure funding system by slowly cutting the federal gas tax, thus giving states the opportunity better identify which projects need funding and how to fund them,” Sen. Lee added. “By cutting out the bureaucratic middle man in Washington, states will be able to keep more of their infrastructure dollars at home where they belong and they will be able to avoid the costly and often duplicative federal regulations that can bring any infrastructure project to a screeching halt.”