President Biden on Wednesday formally called for an exemption from the federal gas tax, as he once again blames Russian President Vladimir Putin’s skyrocketing prices and wonders if his Republican critics would have preferred to ignore the “iron fist” of Putin in Europe for lower gas prices.
The president has asked Congress to suspend the federal gas tax for the next 90 days. He also called on states to suspend state gas taxes or find other ways to provide aid to American drivers.
OBAMA CALLED GAS FISCAL HOLIDAYS IN 2008 A ‘GIMMICK’ LIKE BIDEN NOW SAYS HE IS CONSIDERING IT
“Every time you go to the gas station to fill up, the federal government charges a tax of 18 cents per gallon of gas you buy and a tax of 20 percent per gallon of diesel you buy,” Biden said, noting that the tax has been “around for 90 years” and that is “important because we use it for the Highway Trust Fund to run our highways.”
The federal government currently charges 18 cents in taxes per gallon of gasoline and 24 cents per gallon of diesel, a senior administration official said.
Biden said by lifting the federal gas tax “we can lower the price of gas and give families just a little relief.”
“I ask companies to pass this on to consumers, every penny of this 18-cent reduction,” Biden said. “This is … there is no time now for profit.”
The president on Wednesday, however, acknowledged that the gas tax exemption “alone will not solve the problem,” but said it will provide families with “immediate relief.”
BIDEN CALLS AT THE CONGRESS TO SUSPEND THE GAS TAX FOR 3 MONTHS
The president turned to war in Ukraine, once again blaming Putin for record gas prices nationwide.
“We could have turned a blind eye to Putin’s murderous ways. The price of gas would not have risen like it did,” Biden said. “I think it would have been wrong. I believed it then … and I believe that now the free world had no choice.”
“America couldn’t stand by and the West couldn’t stand by, even though some at the time suggested, and just watch Putin’s tanks roll into Ukraine and take over a sovereign country,” Biden said. .
“So for all those Republican MPs who criticize me today for high gas prices in America, are you now saying we were wrong to support Ukraine? Are you saying we were wrong to support Putin?” Biden asked.
“Are you saying we would rather have lower gas prices in America and Putin’s iron fist in Europe?” Biden asked. “I don’t believe it.”
The president also said that GOP lawmakers’ claims that the United States “is not producing enough oil” and that it is “limiting oil production” is “nonsense”.
Biden also delivered a message on Wednesday to companies that run gas stations and set prices at the pump.
“This is a time of war, global peril, in Ukraine,” Biden said. “These are not normal times”.
“Reduce the price you are charging the pump to reflect the cost you are paying for your product now,” Biden said. “Do it today. Your clients, the American people, need relief now.”
The national average for a gallon of gas currently sits close to $ 5. Prior to this year, the national average of the highest gas price ever recorded by AAA was $ 4.11 per gallon in July 2008.
BIDEN FLOATS GAS TAX HOLIDAY, BUT ANALYSIS SHOWS IT COULD WORSE INFLATION
Meanwhile, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm will meet with the top seven refineries later this week on how the federal government can help increase refining capacity.
Biden’s former boss, former President Barack Obama, called a gas tax a “gimmick” during the 2008 election campaign. Obama said he would spare Americans half a tank of gas over the summer so that lawmakers could “say they did something.”
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT FOX BUSINESS
There is also concern about the impact of a gas tax exemption on already record inflation. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a non-partisan group that supports the reduction of the federal budget, previously discussed that the suspension of the tax for a period of 10 months could actually increase the demand for gasoline and other goods and services when the economy is already dealing with high consumer demand and supply chain disruptions induced by the pandemic.