Club for Growth: Kill the federal gas tax

The federal gas tax should be eliminated, the leader of the conservative group Club for Growth said Monday. 

''Not only is raising the gas tax misguided, but we should not even have a federal gas tax to begin with because it finances a program that is inherently broken,’’ former Rep. Chris Chocola (R-Ind.), the group's president, wrote in an op-ed for USA Today.

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The federal gas tax goes toward the Highway Trust Fund, which Congress recently extended through May 2015. The fund subsidizes transportation projects.

Chocola argued the fund is ''outdated,'' and the revenue from gas payments should be kept at the state and local levels, rather than sent to Washington.

''Why not just keep it with the states in the first place and keep the money away from greedy overspending politicians in Congress?" he wrote.

A proposal by several Republican lawmakers is a ''far better solution,’’ Chocola reiterated. The Transportation Empowerment Act, offered by Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThe Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in Overnight Defense: Senate votes to rein in Trump war powers on Iran | Pentagon shifting .8B to border wall | US, Taliban negotiate seven-day 'reduction in violence' The 8 Republicans who voted to curb Trump's Iran war powers MORE (R-Utah) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioCheese, wine importers reeling from Trump trade fight Peace Corps' sudden decision to leave China stirs blowback Lawmakers raise concerns over Russia's growing influence in Venezuela MORE (R-Fla.), along with Rep. Tom GravesJohn (Tom) Thomas GravesThe Hill's Morning Report — Pelosi makes it official: Trump will be impeached Republican Tom Graves announces retirement from House Lawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms MORE (R-Ga.), would transfer control of the National Highway System to the states. 

More than half of GOP senators voted for the legislation as an amendment to the Highway Trust Fund package, but it ultimately failed. 

If Republicans win control of the Senate next month, the GOP might have a better chance of ushering through the proposal next spring, when Congress has to consider extending highway funding again.