Gas Taxes

Republicans Aren't Going to Raise the Gas Tax

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Over the weekend, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who runs the Senate committee in charge of infrastructure, seemed to be open to the possibility that Republicans might be open to raising the federal gas tax. Other Republicans suggested they might be as well. 

You can probably count out the possibility of a gas tax at this point. GOP House Speaker John Boehner seemed fairly resistent to the idea when asked about it in a press conference today. 

Reuters reports:

"I've never voted to raise the gas tax," the Ohio Republican said.

Boehner said that when the Democrats controlled Congress, they could not find the votes to raise the gas tax, adding that "it's doubtful the votes are here to raise the gas tax again" in the Republican-majority Congress that took office this week.

The Reuters report suggests that the Speaker may have left himself some wiggle room to change his tune, but a spokesperson for Boehner told The Washington Post's Greg Sargent that none was intended. "The Speaker doesn't support a gas tax hike. Period." That, as they say, is that. 

As for what Republicans will do come May when the current short-term highway bill expires, it's, ah, not entirely clear, especially, I suspect to Republicans.