WASHINGTON (Fwrd Axis) — President Joe Biden on Wednesday called on Congress to pass legislation that would suspend the federal gasoline and diesel tax until the end of September, saying the move is needed to provide relief to Americans at the pump.
Speaking from the White House, Biden said the pause would trim 50 cents off a gallon of gas and 24 cents for diesel at a time during the summer beginning with the July 4 weekend. The proposed legislation would cost an estimated $10 billion, a senior administration official told reporters in a conference call.
“I fully understand the gas tax holiday alone is not going to fix the problem,” Biden said. “But it will provide families some immediate relief, give them a little bit of breathing room, so we continue working to bring down prices for the long haul.”
However, Biden’s request will likely not make it past CongressBiden’s request will likely not make it past Congress. Republicans have already expressed they will vote against it and the President’s own allies, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, have already expressed they will not support the legislation.
“Democrats will see where the consensus lies on a path forward for the President’s proposal in the House and the Senate, building on the strong bills to lower prices at the pump already passed by House Democrats including the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act and the Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act,” Pelosi said.
Together, Biden’s plan would reduce the cost by $1 but that’s only on conditions out of the President’s control.
“By suspending the 18-cent gas tax, federal gas tax for the next 90 days, we can bring down the price of gas and give families just a little bit of relief,” Biden said.
The President also called on states to take steps to remove their own taxes on gas and diesel as well as on oil refining companies to increase their capacity.
“These are not normal times. Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you are paying for the product,” Biden said. “Do it now. Do it today — your customers, the American people, they need relief now.”
The move comes as gas prices continue to soar with the national average price was $4.96, according to AAA Data. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm will meet with refining executives Thursday and told reporters during the daily press briefing on Wednesday that she plans “to discuss actions that government and industry can take to increase capacity and to safely operate their existing refineries and to overcome the hurdles that are in the way to meeting America’s demand and to increase supply.”
“I would hope that both sides of the aisle are listening to their constituents about getting relief,” Granholm added.