Congress: Gas taxes may increase

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STAFF THE BELLINGHAM HERALD FILE

The Trump administration and congressional Democrats have found something they agree on — and it could mean higher taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel.

Last week, President Donald Trump’s energy secretary, Elaine Chao, told senators that a gas tax hike was on the table when asked whether the White House would support such a move.

And this week, Democrats are indicating that they too are ready to consider a tax increase — an effort that would fund publicly popular infrastructure improvements but has hit a hard wall of opposition for years from fiscal conservatives and advocates for low-income people alike.

“I don’t think it should be off the table,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Washington Democrat and co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told McClatchy when asked about the prospect of the increase. The caucus has taken no formal position.

“We could consider it in the committee,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, but he cited McConnell’s stance as a big roadblock.

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