WASHINGTON (TND) — President Joe Biden called on Congress Wednesday to suspend the federal gas tax for 90 days in an attempt to lower what he calls "Putin’s price hike" at the pump. The request came the same day Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said inflation was spiking before Russia invaded Ukraine.
There are actions we can take to help American families now,” said Biden. “I’m doing my part. I want the Congress, the states and the industries to do their part, as well.”
The federal gas tax sits at 18.4 cents a gallon.
It would save the average motorist anywhere from about $26 to $66, bigger vehicles would save more,” said Patrick De Haan, who is the head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.
For example, during the gas tax holiday, the driver of a Ford F-150 will spend about $700 in total to fill their tank roughly every two weeks. Lifting the tax will only save this driver about $35 during the three-month stretch.
Lawmakers on both sides are critical of the impact Americans will feel from lifting the federal gas tax.
The gas tax holiday is certainly not a quick fix. It is a gimmick. It is a band-aid at best,” said Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio. “Eighteen cents is not going to do a whole lot when you’re talking about double gas prices.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was critical when talking about lifting the federal tax back in March.
Very showbiz,” Pelosi said.
The president is seemingly looking anywhere but in the mirror for the cause of spiking prices, placing blame on Putin's war in Ukraine, while accusing American oil companies of price gouging.
To the companies running gas stations and setting those prices at the pump, this is a time of war, global peril, Ukraine, 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. Do it now. Your customers, the American people, need relief now,” said Biden.
Mike Sommers, who is the president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, said the Biden administration should be focused on long-term solutions, including "pipelines to get the energy from where it is to where it needs to be.”
Sommers added, “Instead, they seem to be focused on demonizing an industry that provides over 11 million jobs for the American people.”
The CEO of Chevron sent a letter to the president Tuesday.
“Your administration has largely sought to criticize and at times vilify our industry," according to the letter. “The U.S. energy sector needs cooperation and support from your administration for our country to return to a path toward greater energy security.”
The White House is trying to put a positive spin on an extra expensive summer.
Americans are feeling as if this summer it’s time to get out and go visit families,” said Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “I have to say a lot of that is thankful to the president and the work that he has done to make sure that more than 220 million people are fully vaccinated.”
Biden’s low approval ratings show Americans are less than thankful for their more expensive than anticipated summer vacations.