Former transportation secretary calls for infrastructure fix, higher gas tax

Me Photo Headshot
Updated Jan 12, 2018
Ray LaHoodRay LaHood

Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is calling on Republicans and Democrats and all levels of government to work together to fix America’s infrastructure problems.

Writing an opinion article at, LaHood, who served from 2009 to 2013, says Congress missed an opportunity with its tax-reform legislation to inject “much needed revenue into the Highway Trust Fund, which funds highways, bridges and mass transit programs.”

LaHood, who co-chairs the bipartisan advocacy group Building America’s Future, lays out three proposals to remedy the situation:

  • Raise the federal gas tax. He notes that the 18.4-cent tax hasn’t been increased since 1993 and hasn’t kept up with inflation and rising infrastructure needs.
  • Improve working relations, not only in Washington, but among states and cities at all levels of government. “Washington must work hand-in-hand with mayors and governors to understand what they need for their communities and to grant them the flexibility to achieve those goals,” he writes.
  • Invest in technology, such as high-speed rail, and fund projects with proven track records and offer competitive grants to encourage innovation.

“We know that the most consequential and long-lasting reforms are often bipartisan,” LaHood writes, “and revitalizing our nation’s infrastructure and keeping Americans safe should not be solely a Democratic or Republican issue.”