Gas tax off the table for energy, climate bill, White House says

One House member, Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.) asked about the gas tax and whether it was in the Senate's energy and climate bill during a Ways and Means hearing on Wednesday. Other panel members were unsure about its consideration. 

Increasing the 18.4-cent tax has been swirling for the past year in relation to a surface transportation bill. The House Transportation panel has written a $500 billion bill -- $50 billion of that for high-speed rail -- and have looked at increasing the gas tax by a few cents to pay for a portion of the measure and shore up the Highway Trust Fund. 

But lawmakers and the White House have largely put the idea of raising the tax -- it has been the same since 1993 -- on the back burner during the recession.