Congress is wrangling over how to spend federal gas taxes, with the Senate wanting to spend about $15 billion per year more than revenues while the House modestly wants to spend only about $10 billion per year more than revenues. But according to the Congressional Budget Office, the money they have to argue about will soon dramatically decline.
Obama’s fuel economy rules, the CBO says, will reduce per-mile fuel consumption faster than the increase in driving. As a result, by 2040 total gas tax revenues will decline by more than 20 percent. That means less money for highways, transit, bike paths, and whatever else Congress wants to spend the so-called Highway Trust Fund on.
The House and Senate conference committee will begin meeting on May 8 to iron out the differences between the bill that passed the Senate and the one that passed the House Transportation Committee but not the full House. Republican members on the House side include Mica (FL), Duncan (TN), Young (AK), Hanna (NY), Shuster (PA), Capito (WV), Crawford (AR), Beutler (WA), Cravaack (MN), Ribble (WI), Buschon (IN), Southerland (FL), Lankford (OK), Camp (MI), Tiberi (OH), Hastings (WA), Bishop (UT), Upton (MI), Whitfield (KY), and Hall (TX). Several of them, including Mica, Shuster, and Young, are known to be fond of pork barrel.