The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Feb. 24 kicked off the first hearing on President Biden’s “Build Back Better” initiative, with lawmakers and witnesses from both sides of the aisle discussing the need for substantial federal investment in infrastructure.
During his opening remarks, Sen. Carper (D-Del.) said that he thinks a vehicle miles tax or VMT is needed to provide transportation funding in the future and reiterated support for a VMT pilot program in all 50 states.
The reauthorization bill passed by the Senate EPW committee last year called for the VMT pilot.
Committee Ranking Member Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) stressed that transportation infrastructure “is the platform that can drive economic growth now and in the future and create jobs, while also improving the quality of life for everyone.”
Among the witnesses was Victoria Sheehan, President of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. She was joined by the State Governors of Maryland, Colorado and Michigan.
The same day as the hearing, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), said that a value-added tax could be the “only tool” available for Congress to pay for its infrastructure package. The comments were made during a virtual American Council for Capital Formation event.
Sen. Manchin, who is viewed as a critical vote in the evenly-divided Senate, said it would be crucial for Congress to pay for the legislation even though no one likes taxes, according to published reports.
Sen. Manchin said that increasing a gasoline or fuel tax is “not going to do what we need” and Congress needs to look “much broader” for options.
“A VAT tax, basically, for infrastructure might be the only tool. Now if the public believe that the politicians will keep their hands off of it and not rob it, it might have a chance,” Manchin said. “We're going to have to pay for whatever we do — sooner or later, we've got to pay,” the Energy Committee chair said.
Subscribe to Updates
NATSO provides a breadth of information created to strengthen travel plazas’ ability to meet the needs of the travelling public in an age of disruption. This includes knowledge filled blog posts, articles and publications. If you would like to receive a digest of blog post and articles directly in your inbox, please provide your name, email and the frequency of the updates you want to receive the email digest.