Two senators are working on a bill to raise the federal gasoline and fuel tax to boost the Highway Trust Fund. Finally. Sens. Bob Corker (a Republican) and Chris Murphy (a Democrat) are working on a bill that would raise the federal gas tax by 12 cents over two years to fund infrastructure projects, according to Politico. It's the simplest way to make sure the people who use the roads pay for the roads, but also involves embracing political kryptonite.
The gas tax, which pays for projects like fixing decrepit bridges and paving highways, hasn't been raised in over two decades, an oversight made even worse by the arrival of fuel efficient cars. It's not a coincidence that America is, once again, weeks away from depleting its Highway Trust Fund. Not surprisingly, Republicans and some Democrats aren't enthusiastic about the idea of raising taxes. As we've explained before, for years Congress has avoided raising the tax, but has also failed to come up with a long-term solution to pay for the fund.
This time around Republicans briefly toyed with the idea of ending Sunday postal service, but even that would have only paid for the Highway Fund until next year. Democrats and conservative Republicans rejected the idea of 10 years of postal savings for one year of infrastructure, and party leadership was forced to abandon the idea Thursday afternoon.