The signals regarding the possibility of the federal fuel tax being increased in order to fund a $2 trillion infrastructure plan recently discussed by President Trump and Democratic leaders in Congress remain unclear.
That infrastructure plan addresses needed upgrades to the nation’s roads, bridges, and airports, and would additionally fund the installation of rural broadband networks.
New York Congressman Chris Collins, who is regarded as an ally of the President, has announced that he is in favor of seeing the current 18.4 cents per gallon gasoline tax doubled in order to pay for infrastructure projects.
“If you don’t want to pay the gas fee, you don’t have to drive,” Collins recently told The Hill newspaper.
Other Republicans in the House have been less enthusiastic, particularly among the roughly thirty-two members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, which has previously stated its opposition to any increase.
While some members of the larger Republican caucus have said that they even though they want to renew the Highway Trust Fund, which pays for all federal infrastructure projects, they think the $2 trillion figure unofficially proposed by Trump may be too large.
It is thought that the President and Congressional leaders may meet sometime in mid-May with the goal of putting forward a more specific infrastructure spending proposal.
By Garry Boulard
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