President Joe Biden said Monday he is considering a “gimmick,” in the words of Barack Obama, to address record-high gasoline prices that are crushing the budgets of American families.
That gimmick being a federal gas tax holiday, which could save Americans as much as 18.4 cents per gallon, according to Fox News. The nationwide average for gas is currently $4.98 a gallon, according to AAA.
“Yes, I’m considering it,” Biden told reporters on Monday while taking a stroll along the beach near his vacation home in Delaware. “I hope to have a decision based on the data. I’m looking for by the end of the week.”
Obama dismissed the move as a “gimmick” while campaigning in 2008, casting oil companies as bad guys who would just raise their prices to offset any savings.
“We don’t know that the oil companies will actually pass on the savings,” he said at the time. “So you’re saving 5% in terms of the gas tax. It’s not clear what would prevent the oil companies from just jacking up prices 5%. So you end up giving them more money. And we’ve drained the Highway Trust Fund. Now, this is the problem with Washington. We’re facing a situation where oil prices could hit $200 a barrel.”
“Oil companies like Shell and BP just reported record profits for the quarter,” Obama continued, “and we are arguing over a gimmick to save you half a tank of gas over the course of the entire summer so that everyone in Washington can pat themselves on the back and say that they did something.”
While non-committal, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen indicated Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that Biden was open to the idea of a federal gas tax holiday.
“He stands ready to work with Congress and that’s an idea that’s certainly worth considering,” Yellen said, insisting that addressing rising costs is a top priority for the administration.
“President Biden wants to do anything he possibly can to help consumers,” she added. “Gas prices have risen a great deal and it’s clearly burdening households.”
Anything but altering his policies that are contributing to the high prices, it would seem.
It remains to be seen whether Congress will approve a federal gas tax holiday. Democrats control both chambers and are desperate for some relief on high prices going into the midterms, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has been skeptical in the past about taking such a measure, as has Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Biden was on an extended weekend and walking with his daughter and granddaughter, and as expected from the frail, 79-year-old president, he sent a confusing message while talking to reporters, even suggesting that high gas prices were intentional.
“My dear mother had an expression: out of everything lousy, something good will happen if you look hard enough for it,” he said. “We have a chance to make a fundamental turn toward renewable energy, electric vehicles, and across the board.”
As previously noted, Biden was accompanied by daughter Ashley Biden, who was just in the news when it was reported that a woman from Florida was under FBI investigation for selling Ashley’s personal diary. Left under a mattress in a Florida halfway house, the diary reportedly includes confessions from the first daughter of drug and sex addictions and comments about showering with her father when she was young, which she allegedly wrote was “probably not appropriate.”
Reporters had no interest in the story.
Jill Biden strolls with daughter on beach after more details of her explosive diary were published https://t.co/YaPHGavxua
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) June 20, 2022
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