Pork At What Price?
Wisconsin's 1st District Congressman Paul Ryan introduced legislation today that would impose a one-year earmark moratorium and strengthen the paychecks of American families. With the savings from this break in pork-barrel spending, Congress would provide some relief at the pump this summer and make much needed investments in our nation's infrastructure. "The Gas Tax Relief and Earmark Moratorium Act of 2008" was unveiled at today's Joint Hearing before the House Budget Committee and House Transportation Committee, which focused on financing infrastructure investments.
Ryan's proposal would suspend the Federal 18.4-cents-per-gallon gasoline tax for the high-demand summer months. Today's announcement coincides with news that the price of a gallon of gas in Southern Wisconsin has set new record highs, averaging roughly $3.80 per gallon in some areas. With the revenues saved from the earmark moratorium, his bill would replenish the Highway Trust Fund, a critical source of funding aimed to strengthen our nation's infrastructure. The Gas Tax Relief and Earmark Moratorium Act would go a step further by shoring up the fund's projected shortfall for the coming fiscal year.
Ryan's earmark moratorium adheres to the reform efforts of Representatives Jack Kingston and Frank Wolf. The Kingston-Wolf proposal would conduct a full study of the broken practice of earmarking, bring greater transparency to these spending projects, and bar any new earmarks until the system is fixed. Ryan's one-year earmark moratorium would provide an estimated $14.8 billion of additional revenue, more than enough to provide Americans relief at the pump and replenish the Highway Trust Fund so that road repairs can continue. Additional earmark savings would be dedicating to reducing the deficit. Challenging his colleagues again on the scourge of pork-barrel spending, Congressman Ryan issued the following statement:
"The decisions made by Congress on taxes and spending impact the paychecks of working men and women. By clinging to this broken earmark practice, Congress is picking pork over paychecks, and pork over potholes. Simply saying no to earmarks for the remainder of the year could give folks in Wisconsin some relief at the pump this summer and fix the Highway Trust Fund's deficit. I am hopeful that Congress will give up its addiction to pork and address the concerns of the American people."