Don Young says he is still pushing for an increase in the national
gas tax – a user fee, he calls it – to support a transportation
construction bill at a level of $375 billion, 60 percent larger
than the last six-year bill, known as the Transportation Equity
Act of the 21st Century, or TEA-21.
predicted the bill wouldn’t be completed until early next year.
is a long battle. I think I'm making progress," the Alaska
Republican told reporters Sept. 18, The Anchorage Daily News reported.
the six-year transportation bill, which expires at the end of the
month, is one of Young's chief powers as chairman of the House Transportation
has not yet filed his bill, which he had said he wanted to bring
to the House in July, but it is already generating controversy.
has proposed raising the gas tax, now at 18.4 cents per gallon,
by 2 cents, and indexing it so that it rises automatically with
advocacy for a substantial increase in transportation spending pits
him against the White House, which has proposed a smaller bill,
and his own Republican leadership, which has been adamantly opposed
to raising the gas tax.
of his fellow lawmakers allege Young's proposal defies Republican
ideals of smaller government and lower taxes.
said Thursday that he would seek a five-month delay, during which
transportation spending would continue at the current rate.
says the public supports him because people want better highways
and transportation systems.
may not win ... but if I don't attempt to do so, I know I won't
win," he said.