Lee, DeSantis introduce Transportation Empowerment Act (H.R. 2716)

Washington – This week,  Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) 100% and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) 88%  introduced the Transportation Empowerment Act (H.R.2716), which will put states back in the driver’s seat by returning funding and decision-making to those outside of Washington.  Heritage Action released the following statement from chief executive officer Michael A. Needham:

“The Transportation Empowerment Act is an innovative, long-term solution to our nation’s broken and outdated highway funding system.  Consolidating power in Washington works well for committee chairmen and lobbyists, but it doesn’t work for those without access to the corridors of power.  Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Ron DeSantis are fighting to empower those who actually drive on the roads, sit in the traffic and cross the bridges.”

Lee and DeSantis explain:

“Today, our most pressing transportation needs are local, not national. States and local governments are not only up to the job of maintaining existing highways—they’re already responsible for 75 percent of it. They are, in fact, far better positioned to lead in the next phase of infrastructure innovation. That is what our bill will finally allow them to do.

“The Transportation Empowerment Act will transfer much of the responsibility for transportation projects to the individual states, allowing them to decide how to best spend their transportation dollars, and ultimately cutting out the Washington middle-man.

“As states take the reins on their own transportation initiatives, the Transportation Empowerment Act will then reduce the federal gas tax accordingly, from 18.3 cents a gallon currently to 3.7 cents a gallon in five years. The reduced gas tax would still collect enough revenue to maintain existing inter-state highways, while leaving state and local governments free now to focus on their own intra-state infrastructure needs.”