Boxer: 'Absolutely No Way We're Going to Cut Spending'

By Eric Scheiner | March 3, 2014 | 11:23am EST

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)  Penny Starr/

While discussing federal spending and transportation funding last week, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said “there is absolutely no way we’re going to cut spending.”

Boxer was discussing the Highway Trust Fund with members of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in Washington on Feb. 26, when she addressed various tax increases that may be used to raise money for the program.

“I don’t see support for raising the gas tax and there is absolutely no way we’re going to cut spending, so it’s going to have to be a creative way to fund this in reality,” Boxer said.

“The administration, you are going to be hearing from them today, is that right? I think you’ll be excited at what they have done on this whole area of transportation,” Boxer told the annual AASHTO Washington Briefing. “They’re looking at tax reform which is certainly one way to make sure we have the funding for six years.”

The Federal Highway Administration has projected that the Highway Trust Fund, supplied by gasoline and diesel fuel taxes, will have to soon alter reimbursements to states for work due to a shortfall. The Congressional Budget Office predicts the Highway Trust Fund could run out of money by August.

Boxer says she's supportive of new taxes for additional funding.

“Either we’re going to replace the gas tax with another way of funding which I love, which is the fee at the refinery level, I think I may be the only one that likes that idea, so I haven’t seen a groundswell of support for that idea.”

“Also a way to figure out vehicle miles travelled, without an intrusive black box, which you could do. But I don’t see it,” Boxer said.

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