U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and the top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has announced his support for the President’s consideration of a gas and diesel tax to pay for infrastructure.
“When President Trump has proposed questionable policies over the past few months, I have not hesitated to criticize him,” Carper said. “But when the president advocates for policies that have merit, it’s only fair I speak up then, too. For decades, we have largely paid for our roads, highways and bridges with user fees so that the people and businesses who use our transportation system help to pay for it. Unfortunately, we have moved away from that approach in recent years and have woefully underfunded our transportation system as a result.”
Trump, in an interview with Bloomberg News on Monday, said he would consider raising the gas tax, though he was not committed to pursuing it.
Funds raised by a tax increase would modernize the nation’s transportation network and spur economic growth.
In 2010, Carper and the late Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) had attempted to raise the gas and diesel tax by 4 cents per year over four years. After the four years, the tax would have been indexed for inflation. It would have been the first increase since 1993.
The senators’ proposal had the bipartisan support of the Bowles-Simpson Commission.
Twenty states have imposed a gas and diesel tax since 2013.