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Biden calls for 3-month suspension of gas and diesel taxes – New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana 2022-06-22 15:09:36 –

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden called on Congress to suspend the federal gasoline and diesel taxes for three months. Election year The move meant relieving the suspicious financial pressures of many lawmakers.

The Democratic president also called on the state to suspend its gasoline tax or provide similar relief, and made public criticisms of the energy industry about prioritizing profits over production. Still, his announcement relies on the actions of Washington and state legislators across the country to actually bring relief to consumers.

“It doesn’t relieve all the pain, but it will be a great help,” Biden said. “I’m playing my part. I want Congress, the state, and the industry to play their respective roles.”

At issue are a federal tax of 18.4 cents per gallon on gasoline and a federal tax of 24.4 cents per gallon on diesel fuel. If the gas savings are completely returned to the consumer, people can save about 3.6% with pumps when the price averages about 3.6%. $ 5 a gallon Whole country.

Biden’s push faces the difficult potential in Congress to act to suspend taxes, and many lawmakers, including some of his own party, have announced reservations. Even many economists Gasoline tax holiday I’m skeptical.

“The state is now in a strong position to afford to carry out some of these actions,” thanks to federal support from the 2021 COVID-19 Relief Bill. There is no guarantee that they will take advantage of their actions. Budget to suspend taxes on gas or provide consumers with rebates, as Biden requires.

Barack Obama called the idea a “gimmick” in the 2008 presidential election, allowing politicians to “say they did something.” He also warned that oil companies could offset tax cuts by raising their prices.

Biden’s energy adviser Amos Hochstein rebelled on Wednesday, and if Congress and the state listen to the president’s call and the oil industry doesn’t put savings in their pockets, consumers can save about 50 cents per gallon. Said.

“It’s not a gimmick,” Hochstein, a senior global energy security adviser to the State Department, told CNN. “When we enter the summer driving season, it’s a bit of room for Americans to breathe.”

High gas prices pose a fundamental threat to Biden’s election and policy ambitions.They caused Confidence in the economy In November, it will fall to a low that signals a sign to defend democratic dominance in the House and Senate.

Biden’s past efforts to lower gas prices — Oil release from US strategic stockpiles When Larger ethanol mix This summer — we’re doing little to generate pump savings. This is a risk that is carried over to the idea of ​​a petrol tax holiday.

Biden acknowledges how gas prices are depriving the public of enthusiasm as the United States is still trying to convince people that it can shift its focus to the future of clean energy.of Interview with the Associated Press Last week Biden described a country that is already nursing some psychological scars. Coronavirus pandemic It’s now worried about how to buy gas, food and other necessities.

“Once I noticed, things were much more optimistic until gas prices began to rise,” Biden said.

The president is in the global market, profit-focused businesses, consumer demand, and Russia invades Ukraine And the subsequent embargo. The fundamental problem is the shortage of oil and refineries that produce gas, and the tax exemption period cannot always be solved.

Mark Zandi, Chief Economist at Moody’s Analytics, Inflation of 8.6% What has been seen in the United States over the past 12 months is the rise in commodity prices due to the invasion of Russia and the continued turmoil of the coronavirus.

“In the short term, it’s important to stop the rise in oil prices,” Zandy said last week, and nuclear agreements with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Iran could help boost supply and lower prices. I suggested that. Republican lawmakers sought to transfer more responsibility to Biden, saying that Biden created a hostile environment for domestic oil producers and kept their production below pre-pandemic levels. did.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell ridiculed the petrol tax holiday as an “ineffective stunt” in a floor speech Wednesday. “The big new idea of ​​this ineffective government is the ridiculous proposal that senior members of their own party have already been shot down long ago,” he said.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other parliamentary Democrats said stopping the fuel tax would allow oil companies to simply gain additional profits without guaranteeing that savings would be pumped to consumers. I’ve been worried about becoming.

Rep. Peter Defazio, Democratic Chairman of the House Transport Infrastructure Commission, said he did not support the suspension of the gasoline tax. “I’m going to oppose it. I have the largest committee in Congress, so I’ll look at it.”

Defazio said it would be a better way to tax oil companies on “storm profits.”

House Majority Leader Stennie Heuer, D-Md. Said that Biden had proposed and would consider the proposal.

“I’m not sure if it will have the intended effect on retail prices, whether or not it actually saves consumers money,” Heuer said. “Do you think we have the right to vote? We haven’t counted yet, so we don’t know yet.”

But D-Mich. Dan Kildee said he was a longtime supporter of the federal petrol tax holiday.

“I admit some frustration because I think it would have been more effective if I had done this a few months ago,” Kirdy said. “But it’s never too late to do the right thing.”

A Democratic aide who claimed anonymity to discuss the situation openly on Wednesday said it seems unlikely that the proposal would pass the House of Representatives without first clearing the evenly divided Senate. ..

Government officials said the highway fund would maintain its full amount, with the $ 10 billion cost of the petrol tax holiday being paid, even though the petrol tax is a substantial source of revenue for the fund. Authorities did not identify a new source of income.

The president also called on energy companies to accept Decline in profit margin To increase oil production and gasoline refining capacity.

This has increased tensions with oil producers. Biden determined that the company “makes more money than God.”It started a series of events Chevron headMichael Worth wrote to the White House, stating that the administration “mainly sought to criticize and sometimes blame our industry.”

When asked about the letter, Biden said of Worth: I didn’t know they would hurt immediately. “

The energy company will meet with the Secretary of Energy on Thursday Jennifer Granholm Discuss how to increase supply.

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