House Republicans vote to raise the federal gas tax to fund a border wall
The House voted Wednesday to raise gasoline taxes by 25 cents to fund President Donald Trump’s border wall and fund an emergency fund to keep people and businesses safe in the aftermath of the hurricane.
The move comes amid a flood of criticism from Republicans over the border wall, which they say will cost too much money.
“I think it’s a good time to go ahead and raise the gas tax, because if we can do that we’ll have enough money to fund that wall, and we can make sure we have a border security plan that works,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters.
“We don’t want to go through another government shutdown.”
Democrats had urged lawmakers to raise taxes on oil, gas, and coal companies to fund the wall, saying that was necessary to pay for the $1.6 trillion project.
They said that would create another $10 trillion in federal debt.
The gas tax has been one of Trump’s signature campaign promises, but Republicans have said it’s not needed for the wall.
They want to raise it on food, drugs, and other goods, which is a separate issue.
House Democrats, however, have argued that raising taxes on the oil, oil and gas industry is essential for the project, as it would be a boon to small- and medium-sized businesses.
Democrats argue that the tax hike is needed to pay down the $8.6 billion debt that was accumulated over a two-year period from the recession.
Trump has also promised to bring down the national debt, and to eliminate the corporate tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent.
But Republicans say that will not happen until Trump ends the government shutdown and passes a tax overhaul that will fund the border project.
Senate Democrats have also pushed for a hike in the federal corporate tax, which was already set to rise by 1 percent in 2018.
Republicans have argued the corporate rate should stay at 15 percent.
The House voted along party lines Wednesday to fund construction of the border barrier, and the Senate voted along Party lines Wednesday morning to pass the bill.