Clinton Advises Vs. Gas Tax Cut


Monday, June 26th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Clinton sought to temper calls for rolling back the federal gas tax in this summer of high fuel costs, saying Monday that such a move would disrupt federal highway projects and provide little relief to American motorists.

Speaking to reporters in the Rose Garden, the president noted that gas prices seem to be falling on their own, ``for whatever reason,'' in places where they were notoriously high, such as the Midwest.

He urged continued pressure on the oil industry to keep prices falling and suggested that Congress think hard about the far-reaching ramifications before cutting the gas tax.

``If Congress wants to consider some sort of relief on the federal gas tax, it would be modest compared to the price increase, and they would have to be willing to defer substantial federal highway projects,'' Clinton said. ``So, that's something they have to come to terms with.''

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Clinton sought to temper calls for rolling back the federal gas tax in this summer of high fuel costs, saying Monday that such a move would disrupt federal highway projects and provide little relief to American motorists.

Speaking to reporters in the Rose Garden, the president noted that gas prices seem to be falling on their own, ``for whatever reason,'' in places where they were notoriously high, such as the Midwest.

He urged continued pressure on the oil industry to keep prices falling and suggested that Congress think hard about the far-reaching ramifications before cutting the gas tax.

``If Congress wants to consider some sort of relief on the federal gas tax, it would be modest compared to the price increase, and they would have to be willing to defer substantial federal highway projects,'' Clinton said. ``So, that's something they have to come to terms with.''

The president, however, offered little short-term relief for consumers beyond a Federal Trade Commission inquiry into possible price gouging by the oil industry.

``If the prices are being set for non-economic reasons, we ought to do what we can to pressure them down,'' Clinton said. ``I think it's clear over the next two years you're going to have all these cars coming out that will basically make this problem go away as we know it. We need to do everything we can to accelerate it.''