The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports a federal gas tax increase to pay for roads, bridges and mass transit. An alternative would be to charge drivers user fees, which would be lower than the gas tax, to avoid penalizing idling during congestions and incentivise better planning.
According to studies by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the United States needs to make a $2.7 trillion investment in transportation infrastructure by the year 2020 to maintain its global competitive edge.
Ashley Halsey III reports on the conlusions of a panel representing business, union and state government interests that appeared before the Republican-led House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The group unanimously agreed that the problem of aging infrastructure should not be left up to individual municipalities, counties or states.
The committee's Chair Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa) called for using common sense in the upcoming legislative sessions, which will oversee surface transportation, ports and inland waterways and railroads bills with the first set to expire in 2014.