Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Monday he would not support a national gas tax increase unless President Donald Trump is willing to repeal some of his administration’s tax cuts.
Ahead of a meeting with Trump on Tuesday on a potential infrastructure deal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Schumer wrote a letter to Trump, saying that an infrastructure deal must be “comprehensive and include clean energy and resiliency priorities.”
Schumer and Pelosi said that the deal must “go beyond transportation and into broadband, water, energy, schools, housing and other initiatives. We must also invest in resiliency and risk mitigation of our current infrastructure to deal with climate change.”
The Democrat leadership’s letter arises as Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Monday that President Trump continues to mull whether to back a federal gas tax increase to pay for an infrastructure package.
Schumer reportedly will not back a gas tax increase unless Trump can undo the cost through repealing some of the GOP tax cuts.
One source close to Schumer told Reuters, “Unless President Trump considers undoing some of the 2017 tax cuts for the wealthy, Schumer won’t even consider a proposal from the president to raise the gas tax, of which the poor and working people would bear the brunt.”
Influential D.C. establishment groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO continue to push for a gas tax increase despite conservative and progressive opposition to such a proposal. Many Americans oppose a gas tax increase because it remains regressive, meaning that it will impact low-income Americans the most.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that he believes that many Americans approve of an infrastructure project; however, “nobody on either side has stepped up with a credible proposal to pay for it.”
“I’m all for taking it up once the president and Democrats, everybody says OK, here’s how we’re going to pay for it. As soon as that magically appears I think we have a way forward,” McConnell added.