Trump shows will­ing­ness to raise fuel taxes 25 cents

Manteca Bulletin - - Nation -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Wed­nes­day sig­naled his open­ness to a 25-cent fuel tax in­crease to help pay for his in­fra­struc­ture pro­posal.

Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware said Trump told law­mak­ers in a White House meet­ing that he would be will­ing to pro­vide lead­er­ship on such an in­crease.

“To my sur­prise, Pres­i­dent Trump, to­day in our meet­ing, of­fered his sup­port for rais­ing the gas and diesel tax by 25 cents a gal­lon and ded­i­cat­ing that money to im­prove our roads, high­ways, and bridges,” Carper, a Demo­crat who has ad­vo­cated for the in­crease, said in a state­ment.

He said the pres­i­dent “came back to the idea of a 25 cent in­crease sev­eral times through­out the meet­ing.”

Trump made the com­ments, first re­ported by Ax­ios, in a meet­ing with mem­bers of the House and Se­nate to dis­cuss his plan to re­build and re­store the na­tion’s roads, bridges and ports. The White House un­veiled a pro­posal Mon­day to use a $200 bil­lion fed­eral in­vest­ment to lever­age more than $1 tril­lion in pub­lic and pri­vate fund­ing to pay for the up­grades.

The White House pro­posal is silent on what the ad­min­is­tra­tion would do about the High­way Trust Fund, which fi­nances most high­way and tran­sit projects through the fuel taxes. The trust fund is fore­cast to go broke in 2021.

Some law­mak­ers and prom­i­nent groups like the U.S. Cham­ber of Com­merce have called for a 25-cent, phased-in in­crease in the fed­eral gas tax to bol­ster the na­tion’s high­way trust fund. But any tax in­crease would rep­re­sent a po­lit­i­cal risk for mem­bers of Congress in an election year.

Con­ser­va­tive groups warned against the calls for a tax in­crease. Grover Norquist, pres­i­dent of Amer­i­cans for Tax Re­form, said gas tax rev­enue is of­ten si­phoned off to fund projects un­re­lated to in­fra­struc­ture and Democrats have long sought fuel tax in­creases.

“Pres­i­dent Trump will not be fooled into fol­low­ing the Demo­crat play book,” Norquist said in a state­ment.

The fed­eral gas and diesel tax hasn’t been raised since 1993.

Trump said dur­ing the meet­ing he be­lieved Repub­li­cans and Democrats could “find com­mon ground” on in­fra­struc­ture, ad­ding, “We’ll see how it all turns out.”

The White House de­clined com­ment on the pres­i­dent’s dis­cus­sions dur­ing the closed­door por­tions of the meet­ing. But a White House spokes­woman said “every­thing is on the ta­ble” in the in­fra­struc­ture plan and the gas tax has “pros and cons.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.