breaking news

Springfield teen pleads guilty to killing brother in fight over candy

Trump shows willingness to raise fuel taxes


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 closed-door 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."

__

Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report.

__

On Twitter follow Ken Thomas at https://twitter.com/KThomasDC


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Lawyer accused of lying in Russia investigation
Lawyer accused of lying in Russia investigation

An attorney is facing charges of lying to the FBI in the agency's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its possible ties to President Donald Trump's campaign. The charges against lawyer Alex Van Der Zwaan are the latest in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
Miami County could house federal prisoners for first time in years
Miami County could house federal prisoners for first time in years

TROY – Details are being finalized for the housing of federal prisoners in Miami County for the first time in nearly a decade. Sheriff Dave Duchak said his staff is working with the federal marshal’s service on a contract under which up to 20 prisoners would be housed in pods at the county Incarceration Facility located between Troy and...
Kasich talks guns, Trump and Congress during CNN interview
Kasich talks guns, Trump and Congress during CNN interview

Ohio Gov. John Kasich went on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday and talked about guns, Congress and President Donald Trump. Here’s some highlights: “Do I think they can do anything on guns? I hope they prove me wrong and they can because I have no confidence in them.” “We need leadership out of the executive.” &ldquo...
U.S. may put tarriffs on China, other steel-producing countries
U.S. may put tarriffs on China, other steel-producing countries

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Friday urged President Donald Trump to impose steep tariffs on China and other steel-producing countries, contending they are illegally dumping steel into U.S. markets. In a 262-page report that was praised by many Ohio lawmakers, Ross charged that imported steel products are priced “substantially lower&rdquo...
President Trump to visit Florida school shooting area today
President Trump to visit Florida school shooting area today

President Donald Trump says he leaves for Florida Friday to “meet with some of the bravest people.” Trump’s tweet did not elaborate on his plans. But White House officials are working to arrange a visit to Florida in the wake of this week’s deadly school shooting. Trump writes that he’ll meet with “people whose lives...
More Stories