Gas Tax Renewal Runs into Deficit Reduction Plans in Congress

Congress plans to consider renewing the federal gasoline tax soon after lawmakers return from their August recess.

This year, the renewal is taking on added fervor as some political leaders suggest increasing the tax to stimulate the nation's teetering economy by spending more on infrastructure projects.

"In Washington, everyone is talking about the need to fix the economy but our long-term economic prospects will only get weaker the longer Congress allows our infrastructure to crumble," New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said this week.

Other elected officials say the nation's runaway deficit requires reducing government spending.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said at a news conference last week the gas tax would be a priority issue for him after Labor Day. The 18.4 cents per gallon tax is set to expire at the end of September unless it is renewed.

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