Sen. Kirk Remains Opposed To Hike In Gas Tax For Road Fund
John Gregory - Illinois Radio Network
Members of Illinois' congressional delegation from both parties agree another short-term extension of transportation funding isn't acceptable.
Before leaving Washington last week, Congress passed a two-month extension of the Highway Trust Fund, the latest in a series of short-term fixes. U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston) says next time, Congress must pass a long-term solution.
"Most of us supported the two-month extension because the appropriations are there and we want the checks to go out, but that's it. No more," Schakowsky said.
Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) says Congress must focus on crafting a long-term plan for the Highway Trust Fund. But he says they way to fund it is not by increasing the gas tax.
The problem isn't agreeing on the need for a long-term highway bill, but on how to fund it. U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) says raising the gas tax isn't likely to gain enough support in Congress.
"Even though that would be your long-term fix, the problem is I just don't think the will power is there to do it yet," Bost said.
The last long-term transportation bill was passed in 2005.