US President Joe Biden has called on Congress to pass a three-month moratorium on the federal gasoline tax to help combat record-high prices at gas stations.
In declaring his support for the suspension, Biden also echoed some concerns about its efficacy, but said that American families who pay too high a price for gasoline, among other factors, from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, deserve financial support.
“I fully understand that the suspension of the gasoline tax will not solve the problem, but it will provide families with some immediate relief, while we work to drive prices down in the long term,” Biden said on Wednesday.
The president also urged states to temporarily suspend fuel taxes, which are often higher than federal rates.
He asked the oil majors to suggest ideas on how to restore idle refining capacity when they meet with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Thursday.
Suspension of the federal gasoline tax of 18.4 cents per gallon and 24.4 cents for the diesel tax requires congressional approval.
Lawmakers from both the Democratic and Republican parties have expressed opposition to the tax suspension, with some Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, concerned that the move may have a limited impact on prices.
On the other hand, informed sources said that US oil refiners will try to persuade the Biden administration, during a meeting scheduled for later today, Thursday, not to impose a ban on US fuel exports to combat record prices for gasoline.
The White House called an emergency meeting with major US refiners to discuss ways to reduce high gasoline prices, which are driving the highest level of inflation in 40 years.