SHEPERDSVILLE-- A new freeway interchange is coming to Interstate 65 near Sheperdsville.
As a quickly growing region, Congressman Brett Guthrie, R-KY02, says he's excited about it. "The idea when I saw this. Well, why don't we take traffic off the local roads, so the people trying to go to the store, the doctor, picking up their kids from school, can have better access. And people trying to get in to work can just have direct access into work." The Republican from Bowling Green added, "Our responsibility, as was noted by Secretary Thomas, is to use the resources that we have, limited though they may be, as wisely as we can, to make sure that we create literal on-ramps to the america dream."
The $26 million and two-year project is funded in part by gas taxes. However, as people switch to fuel efficient and electric cars, the tax dollars aren't keeping up with the demand.
Fixing that gap is something Guthrie says Congress is trying to figure out. "A lot of people are saying, just increase the gas tax, to try to move it forward, but that means people who are driving with electric cars, whatever, won't be paying for the road. So we're trying to figure out what is the best way. That's just the easiest way because people pay it at the pump. The gas station sends the money in. The other way, how do you tax the electric cars, how do you tax the others to make it even, without raising taxes on everybody else."
Infrastructure is always a priority for Congress, but it will have to wait until the next session. In the last few weeks of the current Congress, lawmakers are focused on funding the government and also the Farm Bill.
Guthrie says those are his priorities. He explained, "The problem you get into with a new Congress and a new Leadership coming- there's some pressure from the new people coming in, well why don't we wait until we're chair, when we're Speaker. But I think it's puts a little more leverage for their side to say well we have to give up some issues we wanted to push to get at least the best version we can get during this congress instead of just putting it off to the next."
When it comes to the next Congress, Guthrie, who took office in 2009, will be in a position he hasn't been in since 2010- the minority party.
However, he has managed to find the silver lining in the situation. He explained, "John Yarmuth will be budget chairman, so that's a plus for Kentucky. I still wish we had our chairman in place. I can't say I'm happy about it, but the fact that they're going to be in charge and we have a Kentuckian in such an important position is a nice consolation prize I could say, and congratulations to John for that."
He says in the coming years, he's looking forward to working to help Kentuckians with other Kentuckians in Congress as well as other lawmakers.