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Public Statements

Surface Transportation Extension Act Of 2009

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Florida.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this bill for several reasons. In my estimation, Mr. Speaker, I believe that this bill reflects a bit of gamesmanship within the discussion over the extension of a highway reauthorization bill.

I know that the gentleman from Minnesota has made very clear his desire to pass an increase in the gas tax to fund a multiyear reauthorization bill. Simultaneously, while the gentleman has expressed that desire, this administration, as well as the folks on the other side of this building in the Senate, have indicated that they do not want to support a tax increase at this time and instead have advocated an 18-month extension of the highway bill.

It appears that the gentleman from Minnesota has, in response, come up with this bill which would give a 3-month extension seemingly to buy time to bring the parties together to the table to agree on a gas tax.

Now, Mr. Speaker, let's face it, the American people right now especially cannot afford an increase in the gas tax. Such a tax would hit the unemployed, would hit small businesses, would hit those least able to afford it the hardest.

In addition to that, Mr. Speaker, our States and our contractors who are there needing some certainty deserve better than just a 3-month extension. Mr. Speaker, we on our side of the aisle stand ready to work with the gentleman as well as with his leadership on a thoughtful approach to highway reauthorization. What we are asking for is a public rejection of increasing the gas tax. We say ``no'' to higher gas taxes.


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