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White House rejects raising gasoline tax for highway fund

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Monday rejected a proposal that would hike the gasoline tax in order to prevent the federal Highway Trust Fund from running out of money in August.

"That's something that we've said a couple of times that we wouldn't support," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at a briefing.

Republican Senator Bob Corker and Democrat Chris Murphy last week suggested raising the tax 6 cents a year for two years and linking future fuel tax increases to inflation as ways to replenish the fund, which pays for about half of the country's transportation projects.

The gasoline tax is now 18.4 cents a gallon and the diesel tax is 24.4 cents a gallon. The tax has not been increased since 1993.

The Obama administration has said it wants to end certain tax breaks to find the money for the highway fund but many Republicans have opposed that idea.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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