Magazine article American Banker

Senate GOP Leaders Back Tying SAIF Fix to Gasoline-Tax Bill

Magazine article American Banker

Senate GOP Leaders Back Tying SAIF Fix to Gasoline-Tax Bill

Article excerpt

Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth on Friday endorsed tacking the Savings Association Insurance Fund rescue onto legislation repealing a federal gasoline tax.

In the wake of dramatically rising gasoline prices, Sen. Roth and other Republicans are expected to introduce legislation early this week to suspend for six months a 4.3 cent per gallon tax imposed in 1993. The thrift fund bailout would be attached to generate $3.1 billion in budget revenue to offset the costs of the temporary repeal.

"I have strongly urged that's what should be done," Sen. Roth told reporters after a hearing on repealing the tax. A permanent repeal of the gasoline tax will be included in the 1997 spending bill that Congress has just begun working on, he said.

By pairing the thrift fund bailout with the gasoline tax repeal, Republicans are casting the controversial banking legislation into the swirl of presidential politics.

The gasoline tax was part of $268 billion tax hike approved by President Clinton and a Democratic Congress. On Friday, Sen. Roth praised Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole - the Republican party's 1996 presidential candidate - for pushing the gasoline tax repeal.

"We need to take action now," Sen. Roth said. "What we in Congress can do is repeal a tax that only adds insult to injury for every driver in America."

Democrats on the Finance Committee said Friday that they oppose the repeal. Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan, the panel's ranking Democrat, said the gas tax is necessary to reduce the deficit. …

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