Is Renewing Federal Gas Tax the Next Big Fight on the Hill?

Posted on August 15, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

By Carl Chancellor

With the nation still reeling from the debt ceiling war and the side brawl over the reauthorization of funding for the Federal Aviation Administration, many voters are thankful for the break from all the partisan bickering afforded by the August recess. Unfortunately, September promises more of the same when Congress returns to “work” in a few weeks.

In the words of iconic fight announcer Michael Buffer—“Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!”

Political watchers are predicting that the next featured bout on the Hill will focus on the 18.4-cent per gallon federal gasoline tax. In the past the federal gasoline tax, which hasn’t been increased since 1993 and is set to expire on Sept. 30, has been automatically renewed. This year, however, the routine has been anything but.

“The White House is going to make a move to renew it. We’ll see — but there will be Republicans who will be resistant to that.” said Doug Heye, former spokesman for the Republican National Committee in a recent Politico interview.

That same article went on to report that conservative groups, including Grover Norquist’s powerful Americans for Tax Reform, are “eyeing the expiration as the next potential front in the spending and tax fight.”

The Senate and House have been working on separate proposals for a long-term highway bill. The chambers, however, are far apart. In the past passage of a short-term extension to allow time to work out the details was routine. But there is growing concern that congressional Republicans will attempt to use the gas tax as leverage during the highway bill talks.

According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, letting the gas tax expire could cost the federal government in excess of $100 million a day. The collection of the gas tax, which funds the federal Highway Trust Fund, is the largest source of cash for mass transit and road improvement projects.

Will the gas tax be the next fight on the Hill? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.

Turner GPA is one of the premier, highly respected government and public affairs firms in the nation. Turner’s state-of-the-art advocacy has earned them respect and acclaim from the media, clients, policymakers and even their competitors! Turner advocates on behalf of cutting edge businesses, municipalities, and non-profits that wish to ensure their perspectives and needs are taken into account in Washington, in state capitols and in City Hall, as well as in the media. The firm creates and implements intensely focused and targeted advocacy campaigns designed to meet and exceed its client’s expectations and goals. For more information on Turner GPA, visit or call 202-466-2511.

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