The measure, which has been dubbed the Transportation Empowerment Act (TEA), would lower the gas tax that currently pays for most federal transportation projects from 18.4 cents per gallon to 3.7 cents in five years.
During the same time period, the bill would transfer authority over federal highways and transit programs to states and replace current congressional appropriations with block grants.
The concept, commonly referred to by transportation observers as “devolution,” is popular with staunch conservatives who argue that development of road and transit infrastructure should be left up to states.
“The federal government’s Highway Trust Fund is broke and another year of band aid funding is not going to fix it,” Lee said in a statement. “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 It is just an outdated system that is long overdue for reform.”