President Joe Biden is looking to give relief to people at the gas pumps by pitching a gas tax holiday for the summer season, but he faces opposition from members of the government and industry observers.
The constant conversation over rising prices at gas stations is adding to some headaches at the White House and President Biden is hoping that a plan to temporarily pause the collection of taxes on gas. He also called on gas companies to not hoard the savings from such a move, asking them to pass that on to regular taxpayers. “I call on the companies to pass this along, every penny of this 18-cent reduction, to the consumers,” Biden said on Wednesday, calling on Congress and state legislatures to join together for the effort. “There’s no time now for profiteering.” Currently, the gas tax is 18.4 cents per gallon. There are 90 nations with higher gas prices, which has been verified by a website tracking the fluctuations. These hikes are spurred on by other factors including Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine.
The move would pause federal taxes on gas for 90 days. In addition to that move, the federal government would request that gas companies increase the number of refineries producing gasoline for vehicles. “I fully understand that a gas tax holiday alone is not going to fix the problem but it will provide families some immediate relief, just a little bit of breathing room, as we continue working on bringing down prices for the long haul,” Biden said in his speech. Executives from the major gas companies are slated to meet with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Thursday (June 23rd) to discuss the idea.
Biden’s proposal is facing stiff opposition, from Republicans as well as from members of his Democratic Party. “We will see where the consensus lies on a path forward for the President’s proposal in the House and the Senate,” said House Majority Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in a statement issued shortly after President Biden’s comments. Jason Furman, who formerly worked in the Obama administration, explained that such a move wouldn’t be beneficial in the long run. He also stated that a federal gas tax holiday would also add to the current rate of inflation in the U.S., “because the majority of it would be windfall profits for the oil industry and that is not particularly stimulative. But still goes in the wrong direction.”