Jen Psaki: Biden Will Not Agree on Gas Tax Hikes to Fund Infrastructure

Jen Psaki: Biden Will Not Agree on Gas Tax Hikes to Fund Infrastructure jen psaki speaks from behind podium White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during the daily news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on June 7, 2021. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Monday, 21 June 2021 11:44 AM

President Joe Biden is willing to continue negotiations on a bipartisan infrastructure bill, but will not agree on proposals that include a gas tax, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.

"We need a few more details about the deal and about the proposal, including specifics about how to pay for it," Psaki said on "CBS This Morning." "An idea that's been floating around that certainly the president would not support is a gas tax, which would raise taxes on people making less than $400,000 a year. We're just not going to stand for that, and we're not going to accept that."

The federal gas tax is now 18.4 cents per gallon and hasn't increased since 1993. The money is used to pay for highway and mass transit programs.

An early package offered by a bipartisan group of 21 senators calls for increasing the gas tax, which could prove unpopular with voters from both sides of the aisle, according to the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, Biden is looking forward to getting more details about the bipartisan deal and will probably be talking to lawmakers involved in the bipartisan deal over the next few days, Psaki said.

The president has already come down a great deal from his initial infrastructure proposal, but he but is still willing to compromise, she added.

Meanwhile, Psaki was on the news to push "Child Tax Credit Awareness Day," because as of July 15, families will be eligible for up to a $300 per month, per child, tax credit advance.

Biden has said he does not want to make the advance permanent, but Psaki said he has proposed to extend it by five years.

"There are millions of people who are eligible around the country for this, and they may not know they're eligible," she said. "They can go to childtaxcredit.gov and sign up and get the benefits which are going to go out to Americans on July 15."

Biden is also open to speaking with members of Congress about how they wish to progress, said Psaki.

"He thinks this is a central benefit that will help families, help get women back to work," she said. "Over a million have left the workforce during the pandemic. So he's going to continue to fight for this. And he's proposed extending it in his American Families Plan."

Meanwhile, the vote on a sweeping voting rights reform bill appears to be short of the 60 votes it needs to pass, but Psaki said that even if it fails, the matter is not a "one-week commitment by the president."

"This is going to be a cause of his presidency," she said. "I wouldn't say we expect there to be ten magical votes to appear from the Republicans in the Senate. They've been pretty clear that they don't want to make it easier to vote. They don't want to make it more accessible to vote. This is a first step. We'll see where it goes."

Biden has asked Vice President Kamala Harris to lead the effort, said Psaki, and the two will be working with legislators on making the tax credit more accessible nationwide.

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