U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown today said the federal government should use whatever power it has to keep the Confederate battle flag off public property – starting with license plates.
The Ohio Democrat said he will author an amendment to a highway-funding bill that would withhold a portion of federal road building-and-repair money to states that use the Confederate flag on license plates.
While Congress is working on a bill that authorizes continued spending on highway and bridge projects, it has not yet agreed whether to extend, raise or index for inflation the 18.4-cent-a-gallon federal gasoline tax. The tax helps states pay for new construction and repairs to highways and bridges. With the current tax expiring at the end of July and states and counties warning of road-repair backlogs, Congress could be motivated to decide within a month or so.
Brown, a second-term senator and former House of Representatives member, said his late mother grew up in the South — specifically, in Mansfield, Georgia. She later moved to the Ohio city with the same name, Mansfield.