MANNS CHOICE, PA — Republican congressional candidate Art Halvorson (PA-9) today urged President Trump to not be cajoled by Bill Shuster and other career politicians pushing for a 25-cent-per-gallon increase in the federal gas tax.

“Raising the gas tax will be very harmful to Pennsylvanians, who are already suffering from the highest gas taxes in the country,” Halvorson said. “This terrible idea would be especially hurtful to the working poor and senior citizens on fixed incomes.”

Pennsylvania already collects 58 cents per gallon in taxes after Governor Corbett supported a 25-cent-per gallon increase in 2013. The unpopular tax boost helped make Corbett the only Republican governor in the country to lose re-election in 2014. Two of Halvorson’s opponents in the 2018 congressional race – State House Majority Leader Dave Reed and State Senator John H. Eichelberger, Jr. – also supported the hike.

The average 9th District household purchases roughly 1,200 gallons of gas a year, which at the current average price of $2.80 per gallon yields a total expenditure of $3,360.  Shuster’s proposal would tack on an additional $300 per year in taxes.

“For many, this ill-conceived plan would wash out the benefits of income tax relief recently signed into law by the president,” Halvorson said.

“Our roads and bridges must be repaired and modernized. But before a single dollar is raised through new taxes, we should go after the $200 billion that the federal government wastes every year on things like studying people’s posture, subsidizing solar panels at beer breweries and paying billions to bureaucrats on administrative leave.”

Halvorson noted that the pollical fallout from raising the federal gas tax could cost the Republican Party control of Congress and may weaken President Trump, whom Halvorson calls the most effective conservative president in generations.

“Not only is it bad policy economically, it’s political suicide,” Halvorson concluded.