As part of the ongoing estate tax debate, the Senate voted overwhelmingly last week against suspending the federal fuel tax through the November election. Critics said the measure was nothing more than an attempt to influence voters at the expense of the nation's roads and highways.
Both Republicans and Democrats criticized the measure, pointing it would have suspended the tax just until after the November elections. Opponents also said the measure, attached to a bill that would reduce inheritance taxes, could jeopardize road, highway, bridge and safety projects.

The amendment was proposed by Sen. Spencer Abraham, R-Mich., who is in a close re-election race, and several other senators from the Midwest, the region that has been hardest hit by increasing gasoline prices. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, also co-sponsored the measure.
The bill would have reduced fuel prices by 18.4 cents per gallon of gasoline and 24.4 cents for diesel.