President Joe Biden will use a planned speech Wednesday to call for Congress to suspend federal gas and diesel taxes for three months.
The White House shared details of the president’s decision with reporters in a release, calling it a “unique moment” in history.
“President Biden understands that a gas tax holiday alone will not, on its own, relieve the run-up in costs that we’ve seen,” the White House announced in a release.
“But the President believes that at this unique moment when the war in Ukraine is imposing costs on American families, Congress should do what it can to provide working families breathing room.”
The federal government charges 18 cents per gallon in taxes for gasoline and 24 cents per gallon for diesel.
The White House continues to blame Russia’s war in Ukraine as “Putin’s price hike” for the record-high cost of gasoline, even though prices rose consistently during Biden’s administration.
A recent Rasmussen poll revealed only 11 percent of Americans believe Russian President Vladimir Putin is responsible for the high cost of gasoline.
Biden’s announcement for support of a gas tax holiday pitches the ultimate decision to Congress where some Democrats believe suspending the gas tax is not a reliable solution to high gas prices.
It is unclear whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi or Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will move quickly to pass legislation on the issue before leaving for the Independence Day holiday.
In March, Pelosi dismissed the idea of a gas tax holiday as “showbiz.”
“‘OK, let’s just do something, there it is,’” she said, criticizing the idea. “But it is not necessarily landing in the pocket of the consumer.”
The president’s position on the issue also differs from that of former President Barack Obama who derided the idea as a gimmick during the 2008 presidential campaign.
The president will also call for states to suspend their gas tax, according to the White House.
Economists are skeptical too.
Trump’s 2020 prediction that gas prices under Biden would reach $7.00 per gallon came true this week. https://t.co/ApE1hn400p
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) March 7, 2022
Jason Furman, a senior economic official in former President Barack Obama’s administration, expressed his doubts about the idea after Biden said he was considering it.
“Whatever you thought of the merits of a gas tax holiday in February it is a worse idea now,” he wrote, noting that the reduction would be “pocketed by industry” and only affect gas prices slightly for the consumer.
“This is standard price incidence theory in economics–the government cannot decide who gets the benefits of a tax cut, it gets split between the two parties based on the responsiveness of supply and demand,” he wrote.