President Joe Biden this week called on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax for three months in an attempt to curb rising gas prices, The Washington Post reports.
Biden urged lawmakers to suspend the 18.3-cent per gallon federal gas tax and the 24.3-cent-per-gallon diesel tax until the end of summer as his administration tries to alleviate the pressures of inflation.
Biden also called on states to suspend their own gas taxes, which some have already done.
Biden also called on oil companies to work to lower prices for consumers even if it means lower profits.
The administration estimated that if oil companies go along and Congress and states suspend the tax, Americans could save about a dollar per gallon.
The average gas price currently sits at $4.97 per gallon, down slightly from a record high of $5 earlier this month.
Both parties push back:
Democrats and Republicans in Congress have pushed back on the idea for months.
Some Democrats oppose the move because it is unlikely to significantly reduce costs to consumers but will eat away at critical revenue that is used to fund infrastructure projects.
“I do not like the idea of a federal gas holiday that’s being talked about,” said Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal. “I don’t think that’s going to make it down to the consumer.”
Republicans have dismissed the idea as a political stunt ahead of the November midterms.
“This is nothing but a midterm election gimmick,” Tennessee Sen. Bill Hagerty told Fox News. “They’re trying to buy votes right now with this. … And you know, a short-term gimmick like this is just nothing but that. Very shortsighted. It will not fix the inherent problem.”
Other Dem ideas stall:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has also pushed back on the idea and instead pushed a bill to punish oil and gas companies for price gouging.
The bill cleared the House last month but faces stiff Republican opposition in the Senate.
Other Democrats have called for a tax on the industry’s windfall profits but the Biden administration declined to endorse the idea, which would likewise face GOP opposition.