Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) is introducing legislation that would nearly double the 18.4-cents-per-gallon federal gas tax that is traditionally used to pay for federal transportation projects.
Blumenauer's bill would increase the gas tax by 15 cents, matching a proposal that was included in the 2011 Simpson-Bowles budget reform recommendations.
The legislation would result in drivers paying an extra 33.4 cents per gallon on their purchases, in addition to state taxes.
Transportation advocates have pushed for a gas tax increase to close an approximately $20 billion shortfall in infrastructure funding that has developed as cars have grown more fuel efficient.
The current tax of 18.4 cents per gallon brings in about $35 billion per year. The last transportation bill that was passed by Congress included approximately $54 billion in funding per year, which transportation advocates said was barely enough to cover the repair needs of the current U.S. infrastructure system.