Washington, DC ’ Rep. Ron DeSantis (FL-06) and Sen. Mike Lee (UT) today introduced the Transportation Empowerment Act in their respective chambers. This common-sense legislation will reform our nation–s transportation policy, reducing the federal gas tax while giving states the flexibility to use transportation dollars where they see fit.

“For far too long, Washington has tried to patch the holes in the Highway Trust Fund without offering constructive solutions to the underlying problems,”? DeSantis said. “We need to modernize the way we handle transportation projects, not just rely on short-term fixes or a one size fits all approach to the nation–s infrastructure needs.”?

DeSantis continued, “The Transportation Empowerment Act will give states the power to determine their own road map for transportation policy while largely eliminating Washington–s role as a bureaucratic middleman. Florida knows best which bridges are lacking repair or where road construction is most needed, not out-of-state members of Congress or federal bureaucrats.”?

“The federal government–s Highway Trust Fund is broke and another year of band aid funding is not going to fix it,”? Lee said. “The Interstate Highway System was completed decades ago, drivers are buying less fuel, and the federal government has wasted far too much money on non-highway projects. It is just an outdated system that is long overdue for reform.”?

“Our bill would update today–s broken infrastructure funding system by slowly cutting the federal gas tax, thus giving states the opportunity to better identify which projects need funding and how to fund them,”? Lee continued.

“By cutting out the bureaucratic middle man in Washington, states will be able to keep more of their infrastructure dollars at home where they belong and they will be able to avoid the costly and often duplicative federal regulations that can bring any infrastructure project to a screeching halt,”? Lee concluded.

The Transportation Empowerment Act:

  • Transfers much of the responsibility for transportation projects to the individual states, permitting them to decide how to best spend their transportation dollars.
  • Allows states to take ownership of their infrastructure needs and programs, eliminating restrictive and costly red tape imposed by the federal government.
  • Gradually reduces the federal gasoline tax over 5 years from 18.3 cents a gallon to 3.7 cents a gallon, collecting enough revenue for the federal government to maintain interstate highways and transportation projects.

DeSantis and Lee have penned an op-ed for the Daily Signal ’ “Let America Fix the Highways Washington Broke”? ’ which explains how the Transportation Empowerment Act will vastly improve how we address our nation–s infrastructure needs.