Cole Suggests Replacing, Not Raising, Gas Tax
By Tom Curry

Capping a week in which some Republicans, most notably Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, indicated an openness to a possible increase in the gasoline tax, Rep.Tom Cole, R-Okla., said Friday that raising the gasoline tax isn’t what Congress should do to raise revenue for infrastructure.

Asked on C-Span’s Washington Journal whether low gasoline prices – at their lowest levels in four years – make it easier now to pass a gasoline tax increase, Cole replied, “Most of my constituents would say, ‘Don’t take away the benefits of lower prices.’”

He added that Congress does need to “get some more revenue into the transportation system,” but “a gas tax is probably not the way to go.”

Cole’s comments may be significant since he’s an ally of House Speaker John A. Boehner who himself said Thursday, “When the Democrats had total control of the Congress, they couldn’t find the votes to raise the gas tax. It’s doubtful that the votes are here to raise the gas tax again.”

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