Biden asks Congress to suspend the federal gas tax for 90 days

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about gas prices in the South Court Auditorium at the White House campus on June 22, 2022 in Washington, DC. Biden called on Congress to temporarily suspend the federal gas tax.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about gas prices in the South Court Auditorium at the White House campus on June 22, 2022 in Washington, DC. Biden called on Congress to temporarily suspend the federal gas tax. Photo credit Drew Angerer/Getty Images

From the White House campus on Wednesday, President Joe Biden called on Congress to suspend the federal tax on gasoline and diesel until the end of September.

The move comes after months of high gas prices and record-setting numbers forcing Americans to pay more at the pump than ever before.

"By suspending the 18-cent gas tax, federal gas tax for the next 90 days, we can bring down the price of gas and give families just a little bit of relief," Biden said in his speech.

The current national average for a gallon of gas in the U.S. is $4.95, and $5.81 for a gallon of diesel, according to AAA. However, the national average surpassed the $5 mark last week for the first time ever.

While suspending the gas tax will offer some support for Americans, it is not a permanent fix to the soaring fuel prices, and the president acknowledged this.

"I fully understand that a 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," Biden said.

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But the gas tax holiday is not guaranteed as the president still needs Congress to approve the move, which could be a challenging task. Knowing this, Biden also called on individual states to suspend their state-level taxes on fuel.

Biden said that state gas taxes average 30 cents per gallon, but if they can't suspend the tax, he is asking them to work to create relief elsewhere.

"Already some states have acted," Biden said, calling out New York, Connecticut for doing so, and Minnesota, where Governor Tim Walz is proposing using state surplus to give a rebate to Minnesotans.

The president is also scheduled to meet with executives from top oil companies this week, where he is expected to encourage them to increase their production.

Altogether, Biden said the moves could help drive prices down by as much as $1, but it would need all parties involved to take the necessary action.

Gas taxes are an essential source of funding for road construction, but the president has shared that removing them for 90 days would not have a significant impact.

"Look, it will have some impact, but it's not going to have an impact on major road construction and major repairs," Biden said.

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