A Washington state Democrat is accusing Republicans of “throwing American infrastructure … under the bus” after a bridge collapse there this week.
The portion of Interstate 5 in Washington that runs over the Skagit River collapsed on Thursday after a truck hit an overhead support structure, but Rep. Jim McDermottJim McDermottDem lawmaker: Israel's accusations start of 'war on the American government' Dem to Trump on House floor: ‘Stop tweeting’ A record number of Indian Americans have been elected to Congress MORE (D-Wash.) cited the incident in an interview as proof Republicans were blocking infrastructure investment to hurt President Obama politically.
“Well, they have clearly spent the whole last five years trying to tear the president down, but they have done it by throwing the American infrastructure and the society under the bus,” McDermott said in an interview with MSNBC host Al Sharpton.
McDermott suggested that lawmakers could find extra money to pay for transportation projects by raising the 18.4 cents-per-gallon federal gas tax.
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"We haven't raised the gas tax for bridges and highway since 1993," McDermott said. "And there is just no reason that we shouldn't be doing this and putting America back to work. All the other problems that face us would be gone if we had put people back to work.”
Transportation advocates seized upon the Washington bridge collapse since Friday to argue that lawmakers should provide more funding for infrastructure improvements across the country.
No deaths were reported in the incident, but parts of the bridge are still in the water.