Source: Biden to Call for Temporary Relief of Gasoline Tax on Wednesday
The idea of temporarily waiving the tax to lower fuel prices will face opposition in Congress
U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to call for a temporary halt on Wednesday the effect of the 18.4 cents per gallon federal tax on gasoline, a source briefed on the White House's plans told Reuters on Tuesday.
Biden said Monday he is considering suspending the tax while the United States struggles to deal with rising gas prices and inflation. The suspension of the gas tax could face strong opposition in Congress, including among many Democrats.
The White House said Biden will make comments on gas prices at 2:00 pm ET Wednesday US time without going into details.
High gas prices are a major political issue for Biden and the Democrats, who are trying to maintain control of Congress in the midterm elections in November.
Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday urged Biden to support repeal of the gas tax. stating that “it will bring real and immediate relief without compromising the federal government's ability to invest in infrastructure.”
Republicans strongly oppose the suspension of the gasoline tax. In February, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell ridiculed the idea of a tax freeze backed by some Democrats, saying “they [the Biden administration] spent a whole year in a holy war against affordable American energy.”
Biden used a lot of leverage to try to lower prices, including freeing up record amounts of oil from strategic reserves and asking the major OPEC countries to increase production.
Fuel prices are rising around the world due to a combination of factors – recovery in demand, sanctions against Russia and reduction of refining capacity.
As of June 11, the average price of gasoline in the US for the first time exceeded $5 per gallon. On Tuesday, the average gasoline price was $4.97.
Inflation-adjusted, the average U.S. gasoline price is still below the June 2008 high of $5.41, according to the Department of Energy. per gallon.