Biden pushes for temporary fuel tax holiday

June 22, 2022

Mark Schremmer

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With fuel prices increasing dramatically across the United States, President Joe Biden is calling for a temporary federal fuel tax holiday.

However, many members of Congress – including the leader of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee – call the idea of a fuel tax holiday “short-sighted.”

In a White House Fact Sheet published on Wednesday, June 22, Biden detailed a plan that would suspend the federal fuel tax through September “without taking any money away from the Highway Trust Fund.” Biden also is encouraging states to take similar action to provide direct relief to consumers.

The holiday would eliminate the tax of 18 cents per gallon of gasoline and 24 cents per gallon of diesel for three months.

Citing a $1.6 trillion reduction in the federal deficit, Biden said he believes other revenue could be used to withstand the estimated $10 billion hit to the Highway Trust Fund.

Despite Biden’s push for Congress to pass a bill, Politico reported that it “stands almost no chance of passage.

Even Democrats seem skeptical of the plan.

The leader of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee issued a statement in opposition to a fuel tax holiday on Tuesday, June 21.

“As discussions on possibly suspending the federal gas tax continue, I urge my colleagues to see this for what it is: a short-sighted proposal that relies on the cooperation of oil companies to pass on miniscule savings to consumers,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore. “The same oil companies that made record profits last year and a staggering $35 billion in the first quarter of 2022.”

DeFazio said the reduction will not do much for the individual consumer.

“Suspending the federal gas tax will not provide meaningful relief at the pump for American families, but it will blow a multibillion-dollar hole in the Highway Trust Fund, putting funding for future infrastructure projects at risk,” DeFazio said.

“We should deliver relief directly to American families struggling to make ends meet by ending price gouging and profiteering, not by passing a well-intentioned but ill-conceived policy that undermines the long-term positive impacts of the bipartisan infrastructure law. That’s why I introduced the Stop Gas Price Gouging Tax and Rebate Act, which would tax the oil industry’s obscene 2022 profits and return the revenue back to Americans.” LL

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.