Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., wants to almost double the federal tax on gasoline from 18.4 cents per gallon to 33.4 cents, but Fox News' Neil Cavuto wants to know where all the money already being collected was spent.
Appearing Tuesday in a testy exchange on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto
," Blumenauer argued that the tax hasn't been raised in 20 years. Fewer dollars are being collected because Americans are driving less and getting better gas mileage, he said.
America also faces an "infrastructure deficit," Blumenauer said, and if nothing is done to raise money in the next 10 months, there will be no funding for transit projects next year.
Cavuto called Blumenauer's bill a good goal, but said he feared the congressman might be "advocating good money after bad." Cavuto suggested a "lockbox" approach that would ensure money collected for roads didn't go elsewhere.
"Why do you say that? Where do you think it's gone?" a visibly frustrated Blumenauer responded, at one point saying Cavuto's concerns were "goofy."
"Well, I don't know," Cavuto said. "Because our roads and bridges are for crap." After committing tens of billions of dollars every year, he said, "they're still falling apart."
Blumenauer, sporting a large green bicycle lapel decoration, suggested Cavuto talk with state and local transportation officials to find out where moneys dedicated to roads has gone. Cavuto says he has done so.
"No one knows. No one has an answer. They can't account for it," Cavuto said.
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