Senate Dems Want to Keep Federal Gas Tax
July 10, 2008 - 5:27 PMDespite high gas prices, some Senate Democrats said Wednesday that they do not support cutting the gas tax, because it would damage the economy by costing many construction workers their jobs.
“The federal gas tax cut is a trick. It’s a trick that (GOP presidential hopeful Sen. John) McCain wants to do so he can avoid talking about his ties to the oil industry,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) told Cybercast News Service. “I don’t think the McCain plan works. I think it would cost us construction jobs in states like Ohio.”
“Removing the gas tax would introduce a serious deficit into the highway trust fund, which we already have a serious problem with,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) told Cybercast News Service. “I don’t think anyone wants to lay off construction workers or halt construction projects. That wouldn’t solve anything.”
The 18.4 cent-per-gallon federal gas tax currently goes to finance a federal trust fund that provides state and local governments money to pay for road maintenance and repair. McCain’s proposed gas tax holiday plan would have relieved Americans of the 18.4 cent per gallon tax between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), a vocal McCain supporter who caucuses with Democrats, told Cybercast News Service that he supports gas tax relief.
“Oh yes, I have endorsed it, but I don’t really think it’s getting much traction,” he said.
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) also said he supports a reprieve, but several other senators declined to give a definitive answer, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
“It’s too complicated. I can’t answer,” Sanders told Cybercast News Service.
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y) also declined to giver her position on whether to reduce the gas tax.