Hundreds of people from aggregates operations across the country took to Capitol Hill to ask representatives and senators to support infrastructure funding. More than 175 meetings were scheduled as part of The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association’s (NSSGA) Legislative & Policy Forum/Fall Board Meeting.
Members of Congress spoke at special sessions during the event, including Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit. On Tuesday, Sept. 26, he talked about the future of the Highway Trust Fund.
“Everything’s on the table from increasing the gas tax, to leaving it as is, to a lot of new stuff, like a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) system. We had about $100 million in the FAST Act for states to study alternatives like a VMT,” he said. “One of the nice things about the gas tax is that it’s ongoing, you pay it at the pump and you don’t have a bill at the end of the year. But we are looking to come up with some different ways of sustaining the Highway Trust Fund because the gas tax becomes more regressive as fuel efficiencies improve. We have more vehicles on the road and the fuel tax isn’t covering what we need. An infrastructure package may be pushed back to next year but it’s still a priority for the President and Congress plus it’s good for the country. There’s nothing better to put a charge into our economy than an infrastructure investment.”