Carper Pushes for Federal Gas Tax Increase

Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) is aggressively pushing for a federal gas-tax increase help shore up a Highway Trust Fund that is projected to run out of money in August.

Carper chairs the Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which is writing the next bill to renew surface transportation projects. He also sits on the Senate Finance Committee, which is in charge of paying for it. He said a variety of funding sources likely will have to be tapped to replenish the federal trust fund.

One idea he supports is raising the 18.4 cent federal gas tax three or four cents a year for up to four years, then linking increases in the tax to increases in inflation. That would slowly restore the current tax's purchasing power to where it was when it was set in 1993, he said.

(more on Sen. Carper's plans to replenish the Highway Trust Fund . . . )