Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, who was also at the White House meeting Wednesday, took issue with the way Carper characterized Trump's support for a gas tax increase.
"I think there should be some examination of the fact that the gasoline tax applies to drivers across the country", he said Tuesday at the Renewable Fuels Association's National Ethanol Conference in San Antonio. "It's always no", Stewart said.
Tom Carper said in an interview to CNN, "He said that he knew it was a hard thing for legislators to support and said that he would support the leadership to do that and provide the political cover to do that".
A White House official declined to comment on Trump's discussions in the closed-door meeting, called to discuss his $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan released Monday.
The president reportedly said during the meeting he believes both sides can "find common ground" on infrastructure. "This is dead on the House and the Senate side", the president and founder of Americans for Tax Reform said in an interview with "Closing Bell".
A proposed hike on the gas tax is "going absolutely nowhere", anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist told CNBC on Thursday. In a letter to Congress, the group said, "A higher gas tax means higher prices not just on gas, but on goods and services throughout the economy".
"That's quite the increase, I'm not really comfortable with that much".
There's even hesitation on Trump's cabinet. The White House, now grappling with the fallout from the departure of a senior aide after spousal abuse allegations, may not have an easy time navigating a massive infrastructure plan through a polarized Congress. Chao noted that an increase in the tax was "not ideal", since it would be regressive, impacting low-income workers adversely.
Not all politicians agree with Trump's federal tax hike as a funding mechanism for essential infrastructure repairs and upgrades.
The gasoline tax is now 18.4 cents a gallon and hasn't been raised since 1993 when Bill Clinton was president. The proposal also would fast-track the permitting process for public works projects, drawing criticism that it is designed more to provide regulatory relief to builders than to genuinely offer a path for upgrading the nations roads, highways and bridges. Moreover, states can not borrow as easily as the federal government and the majority of them have already increased their gas taxes in the last five years. "This is a real opportunity with the president on board".
Over a 10-year period, a 25-cent gas-tax boost would generate more than $375 billion, according to calculations last month by the Chamber of Commerce. Trump's plan - or at least the plan attributed to him - would raise it by 25 cents over five years. Diesel fuel is taxed at 24.4 cents per gallon.
President Donald told lawmakers he would be open to an increase in the gas tax in order to help pay for his infrastructure plan, a report said.