Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), John McCain (R-AZ), David Vitter (R-LA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), John Cornyn (R-TX), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Daniel Coats (R-IN), Mike Lee (R-UT), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Representatives James Lankford (R-OK) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) today introduced the State Transportation Flexibility Act that would allow state transportation departments to opt out of the Federal-Aid Highway and Mass Transit programs. Instead, these states would be able to manage and spend the gas tax revenue collected within their state on transportation projects without federal mandates or restrictions. In addition to the 14 Senators and 24 Representatives co-sponsoring this bill, it has received support from numerous national organizations and state officials including endorsements from Governor Mary Fallin (R-OK) and Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation, Gary Ridley.
“Washington’s addiction to spending has bankrupted the Highway Trust Fund. For years, lower-priority projects like earmarks have crowded out important priorities in our states, such as repairing crumbling roads and bridges. Instead of burdening states and micromanaging local transportation decisions from Washington, states like Oklahoma should be free to choose how their transportation dollars are spent. I have no doubt that Oklahoma’s Transportation Director Gary Ridley will do a much better job deciding how Oklahoma’s transportation dollars are spent than bureaucrats and politicians in Washington,” said Dr. Coburn.
“This has been one of my top priorities since coming to Congress, and I’m happy to join Senator Coburn in this effort. This bill is a giant step for states by increasing transportation flexibility while improving efficiency,” said Representative Lankford. “By allowing states to opt-out of the federal bureaucracy, they will be able to take more control of their own resources. It will free Oklahoma to keep our own federal gas taxes and to fund new projects at our own discretion.”