Since Russia began sending troops to Ukraine, gas prices in America have gone up by almost $2 per gallon, which poses a significant challenge for many working families. To attempt to combat this issue, President Biden has boosted the supply of oil and gas in recent months, including a historic release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The President is also encouraging oil companies and refiners to boost capacity and output in order to get more supply on the market.
President Biden is now calling on Congress and states to take additional legislative action to provide direct relief to American consumers who have been affected by increased gas prices. Specifically, he is calling on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax for three months, through September, without taking any money away from the Highway Trust Fund. And, he is calling on states to take similar action to provide some direct relief, whether that be by suspending their own gas taxes or helping consumers in other ways.
Right now, the federal government charges an 18 cent tax per gallon of gasoline and a 24 cent tax per gallon of diesel. Those taxes fund critical highways and public transportation through the Highway Trust Fund. However, with gas prices near $5 a gallon on average across the country, President Biden has called on Congress to suspend the gas tax for three months — until the end of September — to give Americans a little extra breathing room as they deal with the effects of the war in Ukraine.
The President is also calling on Congress to make sure that a gas tax holiday has no negative effect on the Highway Trust Fund. With America’s deficit already down by a historic $1.6 trillion this year, President Biden believes that the country can afford to suspend the gas tax to help consumers while using other revenues to make the Highway Trust Fund whole for the roughly $10 billion cost. This is consistent with legislation proposed in the Senate and the House to advance a responsible gas tax holiday.