The House on Wednesday voted to pass a measure that would force President Donald Trump to produce a carbon tax before he leaves office.
The measure would require Trump to report the full amount of revenue he’d generated during the first five years of his presidency and to report that information to Congress, which could then pass a tax increase or other tax measure.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Wednesday he’d support the measure if it passed.
The House will vote on the measure on Friday.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill in March that would have raised the federal gas tax to a level that would be at least $50 a gallon in 2020 and 2021.
The legislation passed with bipartisan support but has not yet been signed into law.
The measure also would require the president to submit a detailed plan for how he would pay for his carbon reduction efforts.
It’s unclear what Trump would do if he did not produce a report, but Ryan said the president’s proposed tax would be paid for by a combination of “state and local tax increases, federal spending reductions and infrastructure investments.”
Ryan said he supports the House bill because it’s a long-term solution to a long problem.
The plan could also be used to help the president avoid a federal lawsuit in the event the White House fails to deliver the necessary information, he said.
“The president’s responsibility is to get the information he needs to ensure that he is following the law,” Ryan said.
Trump has repeatedly said he wants to avoid a costly federal lawsuit that could have prevented him from cutting greenhouse gas emissions and was seeking a plan to pay for it with tax cuts for businesses and individuals.
Ryan said he believes the House measure is “the right path forward” to make carbon pricing permanent, even though it doesn’t include any details about how the president would pay the price.
“The president needs to know that we’re all going to get this done, and that the country will get this fixed,” Ryan told reporters after the vote.
Republican Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, called the proposal “an absolute victory” that will help the Trump administration.
This is the president of the United States trying to help his country get ahead of this problem,” he said, referring to climate change.
But Ryan said in a statement that “there is no certainty that the president will meet his promise to deliver a carbon price.”
The Senate has passed a measure to raise the federal tax on gasoline and diesel fuel and to cap carbon emissions at a level higher than the federal budget deficit.
It also passed a $15 minimum wage and a $2 trillion infrastructure bill that will pay for $2.4 trillion in public investments in the next decade.
It’s unclear whether either bill will be included in the final legislation.