Biden wants to suspend the fuel tax, many parties are not optimistic

Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, June 23. In the face of high domestic fuel prices, US President Joseph Biden will call on Congress on the 22nd to approve a three-month moratorium on the collection of federal fuel taxes in order to ease the pressure on people’s lives and boost approval ratings. .

However, Biden’s proposal has been skeptical from many quarters, including within the Democratic Party.

Multiple administration officials familiar with the matter told The Associated Press that Biden would propose to Congress a three-month moratorium on federal gas and diesel taxes. The federal gas tax is 18.4 cents a gallon and diesel is 24.4 cents a gallon. The Associated Press reported that, assuming the tax benefits fully benefit consumers, gas prices at gas stations would be about 3.6% cheaper.

In addition to the federal level, Biden will also call on state governments to suspend state fuel taxes or provide other measures to relieve public pressure.

The average price of gasoline in the United States exceeded $5 a gallon for the first time on the 11th, and was $4.97 a gallon on the 21st, according to AAA data. The general rise in prices, including fuel, has put a lot of pressure on the Biden administration. Biden’s approval rating has repeatedly hit the lowest level since he took office, while jeopardizing the Democratic Party’s election in the November midterm elections.

In order to curb the rise in oil prices, the Biden administration has taken measures, including using the strategic petroleum reserve and increasing the ethanol content in gasoline, but with little success. His consideration of suspending the federal fuel tax has also been questioned this time around.

Representative Peter DeFazio, Democrat and chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said: “The moratorium on the federal fuel tax won’t bring much relief to American families at the gas station, it will cost the highway trust fund. Billion dollar funding gap.”

The Highway Trust Fund is the “money cabinet” for infrastructure construction in the United States, supporting the construction of the huge road network in the United States. The fuel tax is an important source of revenue for the highway trust fund, according to several U.S. government officials, who did not mention the new source of revenue after the fuel tax was “cut off.”

Former President Barack Obama said in 2008 that the cessation of the fuel tax was a “trick” played by politicians, and that energy companies could increase prices to offset the benefits brought to consumers by the cessation of the fuel tax.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell teased the proposal in February, saying Democrats failed to control oil prices and “now want to cover the consequences with piles of taxpayer dollars.”

The Associated Press interprets that factors such as rising oil prices in the international market, recovery of energy demand, the nature of corporate profit-seeking, and sanctions against Russia by many countries jointly affect domestic energy prices in the United States, and what Biden can do is very limited. (Liu Xiuling)