Chamber President Thomas Donohue told Congress that they need to raise the federal tax on a gallon of gas from 18.4 cents to 43 cents over the next five years. Donohue claims this will produce enough funds needed to fix the nation’s transportation network.
The plan has received bipartisan support and even President Trump has said he is open to hearing the details of the plan, but not everyone shares the president's open-mindedness on the issue.
“The Chamber of Commerce has been lobbying for a gas tax increase for decades,” Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, said on FOX Business' “Bulls & Bears” Wednesday. “There are some actually interesting ideas. One, you could get rid of the Davis Bacon act which adds about 25 percent of the cost. If you build a road, a bridge, or anything the federal government touches, it costs 25 percent more than it needs to because they have these prevailing wage provisions.”
Others question if it’s wise for Republicans to support a tax increase of any kind as the start of the 2020 presidential election draws closer.
“When they had an energy tax, a gas tax, under Bill Clinton the Democrats proceed in 1994 to lose the House and the Senate,” Norquist said. “It is political stupidity of the highest and most suicidal level.”
Multiple states have rejected similar proposals on the local level, however, the defenders of the tax hike claim it is necessary to help deal with a crumbling infrastructure system and to prevent the federal government from spending more money it does not have.