A federal gas tax exemption is being discussed at President Joe Biden’s White House amid runaway inflation and rising fuel costs mid-term, and a former US official Obama administration suggests maintaining it as long as Russia’s war in Ukraine lasts.
Discussions are scheduled later this week to iron out details with the economics team, sources told The Hill.
“It’s definitely an option on the table,” a Democrat told The Hill on Monday.
The talks are a signal of inflation and midterm election pressures are hitting Democrats as Americans lash out at rising costs at the pump.
A federal suspension of gasoline taxes — as many states have already done — would require an act of Congress.
Yet the Biden administration will keep the narrative of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as the cause of inflation and the need for a gas tax exemption, according to the report.
Indeed, former President Barack Obama’s economic adviser, Robert Wolf, is proposing a federal gas tax exemption for as long as Russia’s war in Ukraine lasts, The Hill reported.
“I know some may see this as a bit fanciful because it will unwind at some point, but the majority of the recent rise in gas year-to-date has been due to the Russian invasion,” Wolf told The Hill. “I think tying it only to war and setting an end date makes it more strategic and smart.
“I also think this ties directly into Putin’s price hike narrative and aligns well with President Biden’s concern about the impact of inflation on American workers and he will use every tool available,” he said. he added.
“Clearly the White House is doing absolutely everything it can right now,” Josh Freed of the Democratic think tank Third Way told The Hill. “It would make sense for a gas tax holiday to be on the table as part of their strategy.”
Vulnerable Democrats call for gas tax exemption, especially the senses. Maggie Hassan, DN.H., and Mark Kelly, D-Arizona, are drafting a bill in February that would suspend the gas tax until the end of this year midterm.
“What I’m calling for is, among other things, the suspension of the gas tax,” Hassan told Fox News recently. “It puts a little more money back in people’s pockets.
“I’m pushing the administration to support this. They haven’t yet, and it’s frustrating.”
Biden, instead, still blames the oil companies for not producing more — despite his own administration officials asking those companies to do the exact opposite last year in the name of a green agenda.
“Exxon has made more money than God this year,” Biden said in Los Angeles last week.
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