One of Donald Trump’s biggest campaign pledges just crashed and burned, much like his other campaign promises. That snag is the Republican-led Congress. Trump vowed to deliver a massive rebuilding package to Congress within his first 100 days in office, and now, nearly a month after its release and after being on the job for over a year, it doesn’t look likely that it will pass.
On Wednesday night, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) declared a gas tax increase off the table, removing what many lawmakers saw as the most viable funding stream for a rebuilding overhaul, according to The Hill.
Trump wanted a 25-cents-per-gallon gasoline tax to pay for infrastructure improvements, but that didn’t go down very well even though some saw it as an effective way to pay for Trump’s plan.
“Right now the simplest and fastest answer is a user fee and the gas tax,” Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), a member of the committee said. “This would be a fix for right now which is what we need. We need some money now.”
Just hours after Barletta said that, Ryan shot it down.
“Well, we’re not going to raise gas taxes so I don’t foresee that as a problem. We’re just not going to do that here,” Ryan said.
“There are some people who are talking about that, but the last thing we want to do is pass historic tax relief in December and then undo that, so we are not going to raise gas taxes,” he added.
The Hill reports:
Ryan appeared to deal a further blow to those pressing for a sweeping infrastructure bill on Thursday by stating that the House plans to tackle rebuilding “in about five or six different bills.”
Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) conceded that Ryan’s opposition to the gas tax makes it difficult for Congress to press forward on a larger infrastructure proposal.
“Well, it probably means that a big robust infrastructure plan is going to be hard to do if there’s not the money to do it. But I think there are things we can do in the context of an infrastructure bill with some amount of funding,” Thune said. “But absent a funding mechanism, something along the size and scale of what the president is proposing will be challenging.”
Our country’s infrastructure needs to be addressed, but after gifting corporations and the wealthy with tax cuts, and spending money like drunken sailors, there is no funding for it.
Republicans can start saving money by not throwing expensive military parades for that idiot in the White House. That would save millions, thankyouverymuch.
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.