U.S. Chamber calls for 25-cent gas tax, among other measures to aid infrastructure

Updated Jan 23, 2018

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is calling for a 25-cent gas tax to help pay for the nation’s roads, bridges and transit.

But the Chamber’s vision for an infrastructure package goes well beyond the gas tax.

On Thursday, Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue pledged that the Chamber will push for an entire toolkit of funding and financing options, as well as permit streamlining and workforce development measures.

Urging Congress and the administration to take immediate action, Donohue described the state of America’s infrastructure as a top policy priority for the business community.

“It’s time to invest in a 21st century infrastructure system to support and grow our 21st century economy,” Donohue says. “It’s time to approach this as a national imperative for long-term growth and competitiveness—not an exercise in parochial politics.”

Donohue outlined  the Chamber’s four-point plan for infrastructure modernization and investment.

The recommendations include:

  • Increasing the federal fuel user fee by 25 cents
  • Implementing a multi-faceted approach for leveraging more public and private resources
  • Streamlining the permitting process at the federal, state, and local level
  • Expanding the American workforce through work-based learning and immigration reform

“This isn’t a set of demands. It’s a handful of ideas that we believe policymakers should consider as they begin work on this critical national priority,” says Donohue.

The U.S. Chamber has long advocated for a modest increase in the federal fuel user fee to fund infrastructure improvements. Thursday, Donohue urged policymakers in Washington, D.C. to consider the idea anew in 2018.

“It’s the simplest, fairest, and most effective way to raise the money we need for roads, bridges, and transit. Our leaders need to stop hiding behind the fallacy that this can’t be done and just go do it.”

And without permitting reform, he adds, “all the funding and financing you could dream of won’t get the job done.”

In order to build a skilled workforce that will be ready to undertake existing and new infrastructure projects in the years ahead, Donohue expressed the Chamber’s support for immigration reform and its commitment to advancing employer-led solutions for closing the skills gap.

“This is the next great opportunity to do something significant, something long-lasting, and something long overdue, for our nation’s future,” Donohue says. “And it will benefit all of us.”

See Donohue’s full remarks here.

More details on the U.S. Chamber’s four-point plan are available at letsrebuildamerica.com.