The legislation the White House is distancing itself from calls for creating a Surface Transportation Revenue Alternatives Office within the Federal Highway Administration. It would be tasked with creating a "study framework that defines the functionality of a mileage-based user fee system and other systems."
House Transportation Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) has indicated that he did not think a tax-per-mile proposal was politically palatable, but said Congress would have to look for ways to supplement declining gas tax revenues.
Increasingly energy efficient cars are generating less money, Mica said in a 2009 interview with The West Volusia Beacon in his home state.
But even before Republicans took control of the House in 2010 on an anti-government wave, Mica said the tax-per-mile proposal would be a tough sell to voters.
“They’ll be coming with pitchforks up the Capitol steps,” Mica told the newspaper.
Mica's office did not immediately return requests for comment Thursday.