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    U.S. Chamber of Commerce Lobbies for Gas Tax Hike

    Business leaders want the funds to be used for a multi-year transportation program.

    WASHINGTON D.C. -- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobbied Congress Wednesday to reauthorize a multi-year transportation program and hike the federal gasoline tax to help pay for it, according to a report by Politico.

    "The American business community is saying we don’t see this as a tax. This is a user fee, and those people who use these roads and bridges ought to be contributing to the maintenance, upkeep and expansion where that needs to be done," Chamber President Tom Donohue told reporters at a news conference before the lobbying blitz.

    A hundred business leaders headed to Capitol Hill to buttonhole members of Congress, as the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved a funding extension of only 18 months, which is being sought by the Obama administration, the report stated.

    With Congress deep in debate over overhauling the nation’s health care system, the Chamber is facing a tough fight over the transportation issues. But its lobbying drive, which also includes an advertising campaign, has been in the works for six months, said Janet Kavinoky, the Chamber’s director of transportation infrastructure. Congress has had four years to prepare for the reauthorization, she said, and shouldn’t need another 18 months.

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