President Joe Biden will use a speech scheduled for Wednesday to ask Congress to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes for three months.
The White House shared details of the president’s decision with reporters in a statement, calling it a “unique moment” in history.
“President Biden understands that a gas tax exemption alone will not be enough to alleviate the increased costs we have seen,” the White House said in a statement.
“But the President believes that at this unique time when the war in Ukraine is imposing costs on American families, Congress should do what it can to give working families a break.”
The federal government charges 18 cents per gallon in taxes for gasoline and 24 cents per gallon for diesel.
The White House continues to blame Russia’s war in Ukraine as “Putin’s price hike” for the record cost of gasoline, even as prices have risen steadily under the Biden administration.
A recent Rasmussen poll found that only 11% of Americans believe Russian President Vladimir Putin is responsible for the high cost of gasoline.
Biden’s announcement in support of a gas tax holiday presents the ultimate decision in Congress, where some Democrats say suspending the gas tax is not a reliable solution to high fuel prices. gasoline.
It’s unclear whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi or Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will move quickly to pass legislation on the issue before they leave for the Independence Day vacation.
In March, Pelosi dismissed the idea of a gas tax exemption, calling it “showbiz.”
“‘OK, let’s just do something, that’s it,’” she said, criticizing the idea. “But it doesn’t necessarily land in the consumer’s pocket.”
The president’s stance on the issue also differs from that of former President Barack Obama who called the idea a gimmick during the 2008 presidential campaign.
The president will also call on states to suspend their gasoline taxes, according to the White House.
Economists are also skeptical.
Trump’s 2020 prediction that gas prices under Biden would hit $7.00 a gallon came true this week. https://t.co/ApE1hn400p
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) March 7, 2022
Jason Furman, a senior economics official in former President Barack Obama’s administration, expressed doubts about the idea after Biden said he was considering it.
“Whatever you think of the merits of a gas tax holiday in February is a worse idea now,” he wrote, noting that the cut would be “pocketed by industry” and n would only slightly affect consumer gasoline prices.
“This is the standard theory of price incidence in economics – the government cannot decide who gets a tax cut, it is split between the two parties depending on the responsiveness of supply and demand,” he wrote.
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