To help give American families some immediate relief at the pump, I introduced H.R. 5995, The Gas Tax Relief Act and Earmark Moratorium Act of 2008. My bill would suspend the 18.4-cent Federal gas tax from Memorial Day through Labor Day, helping Americans get through the busy driving months of the summer while Congress works on longer-term solutions.
One critical component of my bill is that it would hold harmless the Highway Trust Fund. The Trust Fund supports many of the critical investments made in the nation’s infrastructure by the Department of Transportation. My bill ensures the DOT can continue to do its job without disruption.
My bill actually goes a step further in investing in American roads and highways. In addition to holding the Trust Fund harmless, it will actually fix its 2009 shortfall – a problem Secretary Peters has highlighted and has worked hard to try to resolve.
Finally, my bill will accomplish both of these high-priority issues -- relief from high gas prices and ensuring critical transportation needs are met – without costing American taxpayers one dime.
The way we can do this is simple. We’ll do it by addressing another issue high on the list of the American people’s concerns: Congress’ pork barrel spending.
If Congress would give up its addiction to earmarks for just one year, this would save $14.8 billion – no small sum. This would be more than enough money to provide motorists a little relief at the pump this summer, hold the trust fund harmless, and still have enough left over to shore up the trust fund in 2009.
Paul Ryan (WI)
Committee on the Budget
US House of Representatives