This is a rush transcript from "Your World," December 3, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, talk about a kick in the gas, a push to double the federal tax on every gallon of gas.
To Democratic Congressman Earl Blumenauer, who says it's time and it will do some good.
Congressman, you're talking about hiking that tax to more than 33 cents a gallon. That doesn't sound all too good, but explain why you think it's a good idea.
REP. EARL BLUMENAUER, D-ORE.: Well, first of all, we haven't raised the gas tax in 20 years.
During that time, the amount that the average motorist pays per mile that they drive, because of increased full efficiency and inflation, has been cut in half. We are facing -- for all the talk of a budget deficit, we're facing an infrastructure deficit.
And because we have just sort of run the gas tax trust fund down to where it's approaching zero, if we don't do something in the next 10 months, we're going to face an inability to fund any transit funding next year, and the federal highway funding will drop 92 percent. It's time to face up...
CAVUTO: Well, what's happened to all the money we have already -- what has happened to all the money we have already allocated, not only through the gas tax, Congressman, but states and municipalities that have their own surcharges and charges and the money we have allocated via tolls and bridges?
BLUMENAUER: What you have seen is that transportation...
CAVUTO: Where is that money going?
BLUMENAUER: Well, you can look around you and see in every community.
It's -- it's -- we have had a -- we have had a dramatic reduction in the amount of money that has been available over the course of the last 10 years. As I say, you haven't raised the gas tax in 20 years.
CAVUTO: All right, but we have more gas revenue coming in, I'm just saying, because more people are driving and just demand...
BLUMENAUER: No. Actually, that's not the case.
CAVUTO: No, no. I guess what I'm asking you, is there a way to assure this in a lockbox so that it's intended for just that purpose? Because we do have a lot of other means by which we raise money to help our infrastructure, and our infrastructure still sucks.
BLUMENAUER: Well, first of all, if you hadn't raised a fund for 20 years, you could see where you -- it would lose revenues. We don't have...
CAVUTO: Well, but where are the tolls and all the other things, where is that money going then?
BLUMENAUER: What is your point?
CAVUTO: No, my point is we have a variety of means by which...
BLUMENAUER: Look at the bridges that we have across the country.
CAVUTO: But where is the money going, $42 billion in fees alone last year, presumably for bridges and roads and highway construction? It -- it -- is that money going somewhere it's not intended? I mean, because that would seem to cover a lot.
BLUMENAUER: It's going to where it's intended under the federal transportation legislation.
The point is, since you haven't raised the tax in 20 years, since people are actually driving less than they used to, and because the demands for transportation are increasing for things like trucks, there was a time when the inventory was kept in warehouses. Now, because of just-in-time deliveries, the highways are the warehouses. And if you go around the country...
CAVUTO: So, where -- do you know -- Congressman, help me, educate me, then. Where is toll money going?
BLUMENAUER: I'm trying to...
CAVUTO: Where is bridge and tunnel money, where is that money going? Do you know?
BLUMENAUER: To the best of my knowledge, the toll money under the individual states that have tolls, those are dedicated for the transportation purposes. Look, you can go...
CAVUTO: But you should the roads and bridges by me. They're falling apart.
BLUMENAUER: Well, that's right. That is what happen when you have people...
CAVUTO: So, I...