Nancy Pelosi says it’s time to raise the gas tax

Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

More and more members of Congress are starting to support an increase to the gasoline tax which pays for the America’s transportation infrastructure. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also has said her political party cannot rule out any Highway Trust Fund proposals being made by Republicans.

“I can’t respond to their proposal because I don’t know what it is,” Pelosi said during a press briefing in the Capitol. “But I do think that if there’s ever going to be an opportunity to raise the gas tax, the time when gas prices are so low — oil prices are so low — is the time to do it.”

The current gas tax is set at 18.4 cents and hasn’t increased since 1993. Due to rising infrastructure costs, and more fuel efficient vehicles, the current gas-tax rate isn’t enough money to adequately pay for the country’s transportation needs.

Although no decisions have been made on a long-term transportation funding plan, an increase to the gas-tax is being considered for the first time in quite awhile.

“I don’t think we take anything off the table at this point,” Sen. Jim Thune (R-S.D.), who will chair the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said. “Those discussions continue… It is important that we fund infrastructure.”

While Congress goes to work on a new transportation funding plan, everyone else will cross their fingers in hopes that a long-term plan gets worked out. The last thing people want to see is another short-term transportation funding patch.