Fuel tax hike back in focus as lawmakers talk infrastructure

President Trump is looking to move ahead with a $2 trillion infrastructure overhaul, but the big question now is how the initiative will be funded.

Democratic leaders said last week they reached an agreement with Trump for a $2 trillion infrastructure initiative. They are expected to meet again in the coming weeks to discuss funding options.

Last year, Trump reportedly indicated support for an increase in the federal fuel tax to help pay for the plan – an idea that is once again bubbling up in the nation’s capital.

New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins told The Hill that he supported “doubling” the gas tax. He also said he supported doubling airline passenger fees to as much as $9, from the current $4.50.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Vice President Neil Bradley told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto last week that lawmakers should “come together” and “adjust the gas tax.”

"Business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and labor unions like AFL-CIO are actually in agreement that it is now time to raise the gas tax,” Bradley said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, however, said he would only back increasing the tax if some changes are made to the Republicans' new tax law.

The federal fuel tax has not been raised since 1993. The current rate is set at 18.4 cents per gallon and has not kept pace with inflation.

National Economic Director Larry Kudlow on Friday told reporters that he is not in favor of raising the tax. Kudlow also said the White House is looking at all options to fund the overhaul.


Last year Trump is said to have voiced support for a 25-cent gas tax hike. At the time, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said the proposal wasn’t ideal because it could have a “regressive impact” on hourly workers.