Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, brought up the importance of raising the federal user fee on gasoline at a recent GOP retreat in West Virginia.
“That is a user fee, it’s a fee you pay at the pump and it’s something that’s efficient, it’s understandable and it’s a fee, it’s a tax you collect that goes 100 percent to its intended purpose – and that’s the highway system, the transit system in this country,” he said to reporters.
“We really want to thank the Chairman for his leadership,” said Laura O’Neill-Kaumo, National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association senior vice president of government and regulatory affairs. “Fixing America’s aging infrastructure is a bipartisan issue and we look forward to continuing to working with Congress to secure sustainable and long-term funding for our roads, highways and bridges.”
Shuster elaborated further after the session. “It was fitting I think for me to talk about the elephant in the room at a GOP conference and that’s dealing with the Highway Trust Fund,” he said.
When Bloomberg asked Shuster how much of an increase he would consider, he said: “Well, that’s going to be debated. But for instance if you did 15 cents that’s – the average American – that’s a cup of coffee a week they may have to forgo, or if you’re a Starbucks person, half a cup of coffee.”
D.J. Gribbin, the special assistant to Trump for infrastructure policy, has said that the administration is “neutral” in terms of raising the gas tax.