Congressional bill would remove federal transportation funding

November 15, 2013

Two lawmakers have filed a bill that would gradually eliminate federal funding for transportation infrastructure projects, according to a report from our sister site, Better Roads.

capitolThe measure, known as Transportation Empowerment Act (TEA), was introduced by Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Congressman Tom Graves (R-Ga.).

It would lower the federal gas tax from 18.4 cents per gallon to 3.7 cents per gallon over the course of five years. It would move authority over federal highways and programs to the states and would replace congressional appropriations with block grants.

The idea is known as “devolution.” Those who oppose devolution believe the federal government can best handle the transportation infrastructure between states, while supporters argue that highway and transit infrastructure should be handled by the states.

Lee noted in his announcement of the TEA bill that the measure would improve the funding process, giving states the freedom to implement the projects they need “without politicians and special interests from other parts of the country telling them how, when, what, and where they should build.”

Graves added that the measure will simplify transportation projects.

“Our bill will streamline the highway program, allowing more projects to be completed at a lower cost,” he said.

Graves previously introduced the TEA bill in the House, but that effort failed. This time he says he has 19 co-sponsors.

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