Biden says he's close to a decision on suspending gas tax

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to members of the press prior to a Marine One departure from the White House June 17, 2022 in Washington, DC. President Biden is traveling to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware to spend his weekend.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to members of the press prior to a Marine One departure from the White House June 17, 2022 in Washington, DC. Photo credit Alex Wong/Getty Images
By , Audacy and WCCO

A decision is expected this week from President Joe Biden on whether he'll issue a temporary pause on federal gas taxes as Americans pay more at the pump than ever before.

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On Monday, the president announced he hoped to come to a decision soon while enjoying the summer sun in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

"I hope to have a decision based on the data I'm looking for by the end of the week," Biden told reporters when asked about the gas tax holiday.

If Biden wants to suspend the federal tax of 18.3 cents per gallon, he will need Congress to act, a difficult task with Republican lawmakers unwilling to cross the aisle to pass legislation.

Still, the administration says it is working to find a way to lower gas prices that have been at or near all-time highs for the last month. The current national average for a gallon of gas is $4.96, five cents cheaper than last week, according to AAA.

Another option Biden said is being considered is sending Americans gas rebate cards, a plan thought to be scratched, but he says it is still on the table.

When it comes to easing the federal tax on gasoline, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have both shared their thoughts on the notion.

"It's certainly one of the things the President is evaluating," Granholm said on CNN's "State of the Union." "I know this is what's been happening in many states as well. Honestly, the whole array of tools are still being pressed. He's used the biggest tool that he has, but he's obviously very concerned about this continued upward pressure on prices."

Granholm continued saying the purpose behind the tax is to fund road work and construction, but during this time, Yellen said it is "certainly worth considering."

Biden was also asked again about what he plans on doing with student loan debt and if he intends to forgive any of the billions Americans owe. He answered simply by saying "yes."

The president was also pressed on what he plans to do to combat inflation and the chance of recession, which he downplayed, pointing to the actions the Federal Reserve took last week, raising key interest rates.

But the White House has discussed several options to help lower prices for Americans at the pump and the store, including easing certain tariffs on China and tasking a team with finding areas to take action, CNN reported.

Unsurprisingly, with inflation affecting numerous industries, gas and oil companies still seem to be doing just fine. However, Biden took a shot at them, saying his administration is meeting with executives so he "can get an explanation of how they justify making $35 billion in the first quarter."

The President once again claimed they are not doing all they can to produce. "I want an explanation from them on why they aren't refining more oil," Biden said.

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