On Wednesday, President Donald Trump came up with another plan which suggested to increase the diesel and gas taxes by 25 percent. It is believed that the money gathered from the taxes can be utilized for the new infrastructure plan put forward by the administration. The plan was revealed by Democratic Sen. Tom Carper, who is a top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee.
Tom Carper reported that the suggestion was made in a bipartisan meeting at the White House which lawmakers also attended. In the meeting, President Trump stressed on the fact that the federal gas tax has not seen an increased since 1993.
Tom Carper said in an interview to CNN, “He said that he knew it was a difficult thing for legislators to support and said that he would support the leadership to do that and provide the political cover to do that. And he came back to that theme again and again and again.”
Elaine Chao who is the Transportation Secretary described the move as ‘not ideal’ on Tuesday when she was speaking to the reporter at the White House. However, she did not rule out a gas tax at all.
She said in a statement, “The President has not declared anything out of bounds, so everything is on the table. The gas tax, like many of the other pay-fors that are being discussed, is not ideal. There are pros and cons.”
“The gas tax has an adverse impact, a very regressive impact, on the most vulnerable within our society; those who depend on jobs, who are hourly workers. So these are tough decisions, which is why, once again, we need to start the dialogue with the Congress, and so that we can address these issues on this very important point,” she added.
Carper also revealed that President Trump offered ‘full-throated support for an increase in user fees’ for roads, highways, and bridges.
Another important person who was present at the White House was Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma expressed problems with the way Tom Carper ‘described’ Trump’s support for a gas tax increase.
“He was not advocating that. He was looking at all the options,” Jim Inhofe stated. “All he said was we need to do something and that is still on the table.”
Inhofe was asked whether President Trump offered any political cover to lawmakers who supported a tax hike to which he replied that he do not recall ‘that word being used.’
He added, “I think that’s an exaggeration. A combination of exaggeration and wishful thinking.”
On Monday, Trump’s administration finally revealed the $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan by leveraging local and state tax dollars and private investment.