How President Trump’s proposed infrastructure plans will be funded remains a big question, as some Congressional leaders have announced their opposition to increasing the federal gas and diesel tax.
Those taxes have been seen by many members of Congress, as well as transportation experts, as the most likely way to fund a variety of infrastructure projects nationally.
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster has been among those saying that the current 18.4-cent gas tax, and the 24.4-cent diesel tax, should be increased.
In an address to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Shuster said of the tax increase: “It’s a user fee,” adding, “I believe if you use something, you should pay for it.”
But House Speaker Paul Ryan has announced his opposition to the idea, saying the gas and diesel tax increase would substantially negate other tax cuts passed by Congress last December as part of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017.
Rather than pushing through one large piece of legislation advancing the President’s $1.5 trillion infrastructure rebuilding idea, Ryan has suggested that Congress will address the question with half a dozen smaller bills that most likely won’t be voted upon until this summer.
Trump’s infrastructure blueprint, which also called for $200 billion in federal seed money, emphasized incentives for both private sector and local government infrastructure investment.
By Garry Boulard
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