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June 23, 2022

Biden calls on Congress to impose 3-month gas-tax holiday to lower pump prices

ASoTV 22With average gasoline prices nationwide around $5 per gallon, President Joe Biden on Wednesday will call on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax for three months -- a move that would save drivers around 20 cents per gallon.

The White House said that the president will call for the gas tax holiday to take effect almost immediately and run through the end of September. In addition to the 18 cents per gallon the move would shave off regular gasoline prices, it would also suspend the 24-cents-per-gallon federal tax on diesel fuel.

The federal taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel go toward maintenance and repairs for infrastructure nationwide. But with the passage of last year's $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law, Biden's administration clearly feels that a three-month holiday is doable and important to millions of Americans. It also indicates that gas prices and inflation are going to be key issues for Democrats ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

Biden will announce the gas tax holiday request at the White House on Wednesday afternoon. He was scheduled to speak at 2 p.m. EDT.

The White House said that the president is also calling on states to order similar gas-tax holidays. States also charge a tax for every gallon of gas and diesel fuel sold. The amount varies by state. California has the largest gas tax in the nation, which typically leads to the state having the steepest gasoline prices.

According to Statista, California charges nearly 70 cents for every gallon of gasoline sold, followed by Illinois (60 cents), Pennsylvania (59 cents) and Hawaii (52 cents).

Which states acquiesce to the president's request, however, could well depend on which party controls the legislatures. Republicans have seized upon rising prices in the United States over the past year in their criticisms of Biden and the Democratic Party.

President Joe Biden speaks about federal efforts to ease rising prices across the United States during a visit to San Pedro, Calif., on June 10. On Wednesday, he will ask Congress for a three-month suspension of federal gasoline and diesel fuel taxes. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

Several factors have pushed gas prices higher in the United States recently, including rising demand, limited capacity at refineries and the removal of Russian oil from world markets due to Moscow's war in Ukraine, which is close to entering its fifth month.

"The price of gas is up dramatically around the world, and by almost $2 per gallon in America, since [Russian President Vladimir] Putin began amassing troops on the border of Ukraine," the White House said in a statement Wednesday. "President Biden understands that high gas prices pose a significant challenge for working families."

According to AAA, the national average for gas in the United States on Wednesday was $4.95 per gallon -- a decrease of about 1 cent from Tuesday and 6 cents from a week ago.

California has the nation's most expensive gas, at $6.37 per gallon, followed by Nevada ($5.63), Alaska ($5.61) and Hawaii ($5.56). Georgia has the least expensive gas, at $4.45 per gallon, followed by Mississippi ($4.47), Arkansas ($4.50) and Louisiana ($4.50).

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