By Keith Laing
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) wants to make it harder for lawmakers to increase the federal gas tax as they search for way to pay for a new transportation spending bill later this year.
Lee is introducing an amendment to the Senate’s budget resolution that would increase the threshold for lawmakers in the upper chamber to hike the tax or introduce any new levies to replenish the Department of Transportation’s Highway Trust Fund.
The transportation funding is currently scheduled to run out of money in May, and Lee’s amendment would increase the requirement in the Senate to increase the gas tax to pay for an extension from 50 to 60 votes.
Lee said he is offering the amendment to protect U.S. residents from being hit with an increase in cost when they fill up their gas tanks.
“For decades, the American people have been stuck with the same dysfunctional transportation system — a transportation system that costs taxpayers more money every year, while failing to provide value with our nation’s highways, roads, bridges, and transit networks. In response, many offer Washington’s eternal promise: the status quo will work … it just needs more money,” he said in a statement.