Biden May Give Gas Cards To Americans

( )- President Joe Biden is continuing his attempts to try to bring relief to the American people who are struggling financially amidst soaring inflation and high prices.

This week, the president said Congress should, for 90 days, suspend the federal gas tax so that people could experience some relief at the gas pump. Federal tax on gasoline is 18 cents per gallon for regular gasoline and 24 cents for diesel. A vehicle that has a 15-gallon tank, for example, would save $2.70 if the federal gas tax were suspended.

While no one would surely complain about saving money, that’s hardly the short- and long-term solution most people are hoping for.

In pushing for this mostly symbolic move, Biden said on Wednesday:

“I call on the companies to pass this along — every penny of this 18 cents reduction — to the consumer. There’s no time now for profiteering.”

Biden tried to quell fears that suspending the federal gas tax would have negative consequences on other parts of the economy. Specifically, he said it wouldn’t impact the Highway Trust Fund. The president said there were other revenues that could ultimately be used to fund the estimated $10 billion cost of suspending the federal gas tax.

The president also attempted to get ahead of what he surely knew would be criticism coming his way, when he explained:

“I fully understand that the gas tax holiday alone is not going to fix the problem. But, it will provide families some immediate relief. Just a little bit of breathing room as we continue working to bring down prices for the long haul.”

Gas prices have risen to all-time highs recently, topping $5 per gallon on average across the country. That’s the first time the average price of one gallon of regular gasoline has increased above $5.

To this point, Biden has shifted blame for the rising prices of gas on Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling it “Putin’s price hike.” He’s even laid blame on oil and gas companies, saying they have prioritized profits while hurting consumers in the meantime.

Just last week, Biden sent a letter to the heads of the biggest refining companies in the U.S. to urge them to increase their output, But, experts in the industry have said that even if they had wanted to increase their output, issues such as labor shortages would prevent them from being able to do it.

Yet, Biden said:

“[M]y message is simple: to the companies running gas stations and setting those prices at the pump, this is a time of war … these are not normal times. Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you are paying for the product.”

If companies were to do that, Biden has claimed that the average price of a gallon of gas could decrease by $1 or more.

It’s not likely that Biden’s push for a holiday on the federal gas tax will pass through Congress. Even members of his own party don’t agree with it.

As Representative Peter DeFazio from Oregon, who chairs the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, commented:

“Although well intentioned, this policy would at best achieve only miniscule relief while blowing a $10 billion hole in the Highway Trust Fund that would need to be filled if we want to continue to fix crumbling bridges, address the spike in traffic deaths and build a modern infrastructure system.”