WASHINGTON — Some members of Congress are skeptical of President Joe Biden’s proposed vacation of the gas tax, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Biden asked Congress on Wednesday to to suspend federal gas tax for the next three months in one of his administration’s most aggressive efforts to give Americans a break as gas prices rise above $5 a gallon in many states.
While he said that “Democrats are united in our determination to lower gas prices for families at the pump,” Pelosi promised not to support the plan in a statement released Wednesday.
“We’ll see where the consensus lies on a path forward for the president’s proposal in the House and Senate, building on the strong bills to lower prices at the pump already passed by House Democrats, including the Bill of Rights Act. avoiding fuel price shocks and the Lower Food and Fuel Cost Act,” Pelosi said.
In the past, she has said at multiple weekly press conferences that there is no guarantee that a gas tax holiday will be passed on to consumers. Instead, she has supported the idea of gas discounts.
“We don’t know if we have the votes,” Representative for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said Wednesday of Biden’s proposal.
sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said Tuesday on Twitter he is “glad that POTUS is exploring ways to lower gas prices at the pump”, but suspending the main way infrastructure is paid “is a short-sighted and inefficient way to provide relief”, suggesting other options should be explored .
Biden wants Congress to offset the loss of highway funds — estimated at about $10 billion — with other federal tax revenues. Now that the federal government’s deficit has fallen by $1.6 trillion this year, the US can afford to stop the gas tax, a government official told reporters.
Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Del. and chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Transport and Infrastructure, on Tuesday evening criticized the proposal through a statement by asking his colleagues to see it as a “short-sighted proposal that relies on the cooperation of oil companies to pass on minuscule savings to consumers — the same oil companies that posted record profits last year and a whopping $35 billion in the first quarter of 2022.”
A three-month federal gas tax vacation would suspend a tax of 18.4 cents per gallon of gas and 24.4 cents on diesel that drivers pay when they fill their tanks. The administration is billing the gas tax holiday as a way to provide some “breathing room” as it works to reduce costs in the long run.
Contributing: Joey Garrison
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pelosi Doesn’t Embrace Biden’s Gas Tax Vacation Proposal