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Republicans Conspire With Dems To Raise The Gas Tax

Republicans Conspire With Dems to Raise the Gas Tax

Republicans and Democrats in the House this week proposed legislation that would raise taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel in an effort to shore up the dwindling federal highway fund, and create a commission to explore other ways to boost that fund in the longer term.

But in a sign members might be worried about how to pitch the tax hike, they explained it as an increase in “user fees” in a press release Thursday.

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“In order to sustain the trust fund in the near-term, the legislation indexes the gas and diesel user fees to inflation — raising roughly $27.5 billion and providing funding for our infrastructure needs for 1.7 years,” they said.

Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) introduced the Bridge to Sustainable Infrastructure Act with another Republican, Rep. Reid Ribble (Wis.), and two Democrats, Bill Pascrell (N.J.) and Dan Lipinski (Ill.). The bill is the latest attempt to boost the federal highway fund that members say will be empty in the next few months.

The bill again raises the question of whether Republicans will decide it’s time to raise the gas tax, find other sources of new funding, or make cuts to other areas of the federal government. Many Republicans will balk at the idea of raising the gas tax, even as many others see it as a natural way to raise money.

For several years, members have also toyed with the idea of taxing cars based on how far they drive, although that proposal has failed to catch on with Republicans. More

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