President Donald Trump has reportedly endorsed an increase in the federal fuel tax to help pay for his $1.5 trillion infrastructure overhaul.
During meetings this morning with senior officials, the president voiced support for a 25-cent gas tax hike, according to a report from Axios, which cited two sources with direct knowledge of the meeting.
The White House refused to comment directly on the report on Wednesday, saying instead that it has both pros and cons.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said on Tuesday the president was weighing an increase in the gas tax as a means to fund the infrastructure revamp. She admitted the proposal wasn’t ideal as it could have a “regressive impact” on hourly workers.
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.
The White House unveiled details of its infrastructure initiative on Monday, which calls for $1.5 trillion in spending over the course of a decade and relies heavily on states to attract outside private investment to fund major projects. Shifting the funding burden more heavily onto states rather than simply providing federal dollars for infrastructure projects could allow for more flexibility to develop projects catering to specific local needs.
Trump is also expected to donate his quarterly salary to the Transportation Department for the infrastructure initiative, according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.