States, Congress skeptical of Biden’s gas tax holiday


  • Biden’s proposal would eliminate a federal tax for 90-days.
  • It is unclear whether there is enough support in Congress to suspend the federal gas tax.
  • While some states praised Biden’s proposal, it’s unclear how many states will suspend their gas tax.

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden is facing an uphill battle to get Congress and some states on board to suspend federal and state gas taxes — a move aimed at offering relief to Americans as gas prices surpass $5 a gallon around the country. 

Biden was met with skepticism Wednesday as he called on lawmakers on Capitol Hill and states to suspend the federal gas tax for the next three months. The move would pause a federal tax of 18.4 cents per gallon of gas and 24.4 cents for diesel.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., wrote in a tweet he was glad the president was looking for ways to lower gas prices but wasn’t entirely convinced slashing taxes was the answer.

“Suspending the primary way that we pay for infrastructure projects on our roads is a shortsighted and inefficient way to provide relief,” Carper said.

As he called on Congress to suspend the gas tax, Biden said he wanted to do “everything possible to bring the price of energy down gas prices down.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., would not commit to supporting the proposal, instead saying “we will see where the consensus lies on a path forward for the president’s proposal in the House and the Senate.”

More: Biden weighs a gas tax holiday. How much would consumers really save?

Cutting the state gas tax in addition to the federal suspension could add to savings for beleaguered American families. 

But some experts warn the gas prices would climb after the tax holiday is over.

“This is a gimmick. It would make bad inflation situation, underlying pressures of an inflation situation worse,” said Marc Goldwein, senior vice president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a non-profit public policy organization focused on fiscal issues in Washington, D.C.

Earlier this year, Maryland, Connecticut, Georgia, New York and Florida had already enacted a gas tax holiday. 

Now, it’s unclear if Biden can also get more states to support suspending their own gas taxes, even as some governors are applauding Biden for trying to find solutions on a federal level.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer praised Biden for looking to suspend the federal gas tax and called for a temporary suspension of the state sales tax on gas.

“Americans are feeling the pain at the pump with gas reaching $5 a gallon this month, so I am glad that President Biden is calling for a temporary suspension of the federal gas tax,” Whitmer said in a statement. “If we suspend the Michigan sales tax on gas and also get this done, we can save families nearly 50 cents a gallon right now.”

Whitmer previously vowed to cut Michigan’s 6% sales tax on gasoline purchases after she vetoed legislation that would have paused her…

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