A possible obstacle to quick passage of an infrastructure bill, a gas tax hike, could be introduced today in the House of Representatives and platinum and palladium exchange-traded funds have seen a huge outflow this year as prices fell.
Gas Tax Hike?
Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon hopes to attach a proposed 15-cent-per-gallon fuel-tax increase to the $325 billion transportation-spending bill the House will look at this week. “My amendment will not only fully fund H.R. 3763, but also provide enough revenue to increase investment above the current, anemic levels of spending,” he said.
His proposal would hike the current 1.84-cent federal gas tax to 33.4 cents per gallon. State taxes on top of that would put the total tax bill on a gallon of gasoline over 50 cents in some states. The House Rules Committee is scheduled to consider amendments to the highway bill this afternoon.
Full passage in the House could come as early as this week as leadership has said they would like to get a full bill to the President’s desk by Thanksgiving. A similar bill has already passed the Senate but would need to go through a conference committee to eliminate differences between the two proposals.
Platinum, Palladium ETFs See Huge Outflow
Platinum- and palladium-backed exchange-traded funds tracked by Reuters are facing their biggest monthly outflows since the data series began in 2010, after prices of the white metals slid to multi-year lows earlier this year.
Platinum-backed funds have seen outflows of just over 160,000 ounces so far in October, taking their holdings to their lowest since early 2014 at 2.232 million ounces.