White House calls on Congress to approve 3-month moratorium on federal fuel tax

In an effort to challenge record pump prices and give American consumers short-term leave this summer, Joe Biden on Wednesday called on Congress to approve a three-month moratorium on the federal fuel tax.

The official added that the president had challenged the major oil companies to present ideas on how to reactivate the idle refining capacity when they met with his energy secretary later this week. The president has called on states to temporarily suspend state fuel taxes, which are often higher than the federal rate.

With presidential approval ratings at an all-time low due to record-high gasoline prices, Democrats’ chances of gaining control of Congress in November are at risk. Biden and his advisers have been debating the issue for months under pressure to take action.

Congress will have to approve any suspension of the federal petrol tax of 18.4 cents per gallon and the diesel tax of 24.4 cents per gallon, so Biden’s proposal is probably primarily symbolic.

Lawmakers from both the Democrats and Republicans have expressed opposition to tax suspensions. Some Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are concerned that the move could have a small impact on pricing if oil companies and retailers keep large savings.

The White House said in a statement that “because of the gas tax holiday alone, the costs we have seen will not be reduced automatically.” At a time when American families are having to spend on the war in Ukraine, Congress should do everything possible to give working families a place to breathe.

According to the report, Biden is requesting that Congress suspend fuel taxes until September. This would cost the Highway Trust Fund হার 10 billion in lost revenue, but could be offset by increased spending on other parts of the budget as the country recovers from the COVID-19 epidemic.

While other states have discussed options such as consumer returns and direct assistance, several states, such as New York and Connecticut, have already suspended their state fuel taxes. Biden’s statement, which will be given in a speech this afternoon, was initially reported Tuesday night.

The shortage of diesel and petrol and high prices are intensifying due to refineries’ struggle to meet world demand.

According to a representative of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers Industry Group, the imbalance between the supply and demand of petroleum products is the root of the problem. The envoy added that long-term strategies are still needed to increase U.S. energy production.

Due to the high demand for motor fuel and the loss of about 1 million barrels per day in processing capacity, the price of US pumps is now close to $ 5 per gallon. Many plants had to shut down three years ago when fuel consumption dropped to the height of the Covid-19 outbreak.

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