Oberstar takes aim at White House press secretary

WASHINGTON, D.C — House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., took a shot at White House press secretary Robert Gibbs yesterday for criticizing the idea of using a mileage tax on motorists.

“I got news for Gibbs,” Oberstar told a group of transportation officials at a luncheon hosted by the American League of Lobbyists on Monday. “The White House press office isn’t going to write transportation policy. We’re going to write it up here.”

Oberstar’s comments came after Gibbs reportedly dismissed the idea, which Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood had suggested as an option during an interview with the Associated Press.

The gas tax is currently funding the federal highway system and is not bringing in enough money. Proponents of a mileage tax, including Oberstar, argue that it would be a fairer option. Critics, however, have said that tracking miles would amount to an untenable intrusion by the federal government into private lives.

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