Biden to Seek 3-Month Gas Tax Suspension as Prices Soar

Biden to Seek 3-Month Gas Tax Suspension as Prices Soar

Federal gasoline and diesel taxes help fund the Highway Trust Fund. (Representative)


US President Joe Biden will ask Congress on Wednesday to suspend the federal gas tax for three months, as soaring prices spark widespread anger among Americans months before the crucial midterm elections.

The White House wants to scrap the 18-cent-per-gallon (3.78-litre) tax through September and will call on U.S. states, which also tax at the pump, to do the same to “provide direct relief to U.S. consumers who have been hit by Putin’s price hike,” a senior administration official said.

The official noted that prices have risen nearly $2 a gallon since Russian President Vladimir Putin began building up his forces on the Ukrainian border earlier this year.

Federal gasoline and diesel taxes help fund the Highway Trust Fund, which maintains roads and supports public transportation, but Biden will ask Congress to make sure the fund doesn’t suffer from lost revenue.

“With our deficit already reduced by a historic $1.6 trillion this year, the President believes we can afford to suspend the gas tax to help consumers while using other revenues to make the full Highway Trust Fund at the cost of approximately $10 billion,” the official said. said.

Amid growing public anger over rising gas prices, several states, including New York and Connecticut, have already suspended fuel taxes, while others have delayed planned tax increases.

Biden took steps to ease the pain at the pump after Putin’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine sent fuel prices soaring not just in the United States but around the world, exacerbating inflation already on the rise.

These measures include releasing one million barrels of oil per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, negotiating the release of an additional 60 million barrels with international partners, and expanding access to biofuels.

But with average gasoline prices across the country nearing $5 a gallon, the Biden administration is keen to ease the pain consumers are feeling over rising prices ahead of November’s midterm elections that could see the Democrats lose control of Congress.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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