Key Senate Republican Opens Door to Gas Tax Increase

Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), current ranking member and incoming chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation surprised the media when he announced on a Sunday morning talk show that a gas tax increase is possible.

1 minute read

January 5, 2015, 1:00 PM PST

By Irvin Dawid

"In an interview on 'Fox News Sunday,' Thune said, 'I don’t think we take anything off the table at this point. Those discussions continue… It is important that we fund infrastructure,' writes David Keup of the National Monitor.

All but a handful of politicians have ruled out the idea of raising the dreaded gas tax. Even President Obama stated, "In fairness to members of Congress, votes on gas taxes are really tough. Gas prices are one of those things that really bug people." [Politico Morning Transportation, Dec. 4]. 

Republican Sen. Bob Corker and Democrat Chris Murphy have championed a 12-cents gas tax increase, yet it remains a proposal, and Thune isn't a public backer.

In the House, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and retiring Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.) co-sponsored a 15-cents gas tax bill. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) also has a gas tax bill.

"A huge challenge for the next Congress will be finding the funds to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent when the current patch bill expires on May 31," as noted here earlier.

Sunday, January 4, 2015 in National Monitor

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