Construction Official Says “Irresponsible” Proposal Won’t Address Root Causes of Higher Fuel Prices, But Will Blow a Huge Hole in the Federal Highway Trust Fund and Undermine Efforts to Fix Infrastructure
The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement today in response to the introduction of a bill by several Democratic Senators to suspend the federal gas tax for the remainder of 2022 in response to rising fuel prices:
“A recently introduced proposal to suspend the federal gas tax will likely have no impact on what motorists pay at the pump, but it will certainly make it harder for President Biden to keep his promise to fix roads and bridges that are in desperate need of improvement across the country. That is because the irresponsible measure, if enacted, would leave a massive hole in the federal Highway Trust Fund, which is largely funded by the gas tax, that pays for federal investments in road, bridge and transit improvement projects.
“Fuel prices are rising for a variety of reasons, including the fact demand is up while Democrats in Congress and the White House are pushing measures to limit domestic oil production. Those factors have led to significant increases in the price of fuel, and will not go away even if the federal fuel tax were to be temporarily waived.
“Instead of helping motorists, this ill-conceived proposal will make the cost of shipping and commuting higher as growing congestion and worsening road conditions delay shipments, damage vehicles and undermine economic growth since there will be fewer funds available in the long-term to repair our transportation systems. Ultimately, all taxpayers will be forced, via new taxes or additional deficit spending, to pay for this proposal to plug the massive revenue holes it will create.
“We hope this proposal goes nowhere but we take nothing for granted. That is why will take every possible step to educate members of Congress about why this proposal must not pass.”