"It is my strong belief that any new fuel taxes should be used strictly for the Highway Trust Fund as part of a robust surface transportation reauthorization bill, which I have been working to pass with my colleagues in the Senate," he wrote, adding, "The lack of investment in our crumbling bridge, highway, and transit system is a missed opportunity for the creation of thousands of well paying jobs and long-term economic growth for our nation."
Some reports stated that Voinovich was open to using a fuel tax to pay down the country's mounting debt. The senator's letter to the Commission's co-chairs, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, seeks to rectify the misunderstanding.
The letter also states that the federal government has lost purchasing power by not increasing the tax.
"[The] federal fuel tax has not been increased for 17 years — since 1993, when it was raised by 4.3 cents to 18.4 cents per gallon," the letter states. "The purchasing power of the current fuel taxes has decreased over this time period and thus, the federal government's contribution to the transportation system has continued to fall behind."