Detail

President Trump Requests Democrats Pass USMCA Before Infrastructure Bill; House Ways and Means Member Introduces Gas-Tax Infrastructure Bill

  • June 7, 2019

On the eve of a May 22 White House meeting to discuss a national infrastructure improvement package, President Trump sent a letter to Democratic congressional leaders requesting they first approve his trade deal with Canada and Mexico before taking up infrastructure legislation. (Bloomberg, May 21)

Legislation introduced May 22 by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) would gradually increase gasoline and diesel taxes to invest in the nation's infrastructure.  Blumenauer is a member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

  • "Before we get to infrastructure, it is my strong view that Congress should first pass the important and popular [United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)] trade deal," Trump wrote. "Once Congress has passed USMCA, we should turn our attention to a bipartisan infrastructure package," he added.
  • Democrats and Trump agreed during a meeting last month to pursue a $2 trillion infrastructure package and meet again this week to discuss funding.  (Roundtable Weekly, May 3).  Trump cancelled the May 22 White House meeting and the talks failed to move forward.
  • In the House, legislation introduced May 22 by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) would gradually increase gasoline and diesel taxes to invest in the nation's infrastructure.  Blumenauer is a member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.
  • The Rebuild America Act would raise the fuels' tax by five cents a year over five years, index it to inflation, and aim to replace it with a more stable source of funding within 10 years. (Blumenauer press release, May 22) 
  • The Roundtable on April 29 submitted infrastructure policy recommendations to House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO).  As part of a suite of infrastructure recommendations, The Roundtable also proposed a gas "user fee" increase that aligns with Blumenauer's bill.  (Roundtable Weekly, May 3)

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) is scheduled to discuss tax policy with Roundtable members on June 11 during the organization's Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.