President Joe Biden called on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax for 90 days to help alleviate the record-high gas prices. The federal gas tax is 18.4 cents per gallon, while diesel is taxed at 24 cents per gallon.
"I fully understand that a gas tax holiday alone is not going to fix the problem, but it will provide families some immediate relief, just a little bit of breathing room as we continue working to bring down prices for the long haul," President Biden said in a speech at the White House on Wednesday (June 22).
Biden also called on states to suspend their gas taxes, which average around 30 cents per gallon. In addition, Biden told oil companies they need to use their profits to increase refining capacity, which was reduced following the closures of many refineries during the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden said that his proposals could lower the cost of gas by about $1 per gallon.
It is unclear if there is enough support in Congress to suspend the federal gas tax. Lawmakers from both parties are skeptical about the impact that suspending the gas tax will have. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he doesn't know if Biden's proposal will have enough support to pass the House of Representatives.
"The president's made a proposal. I'm going to look at it certainly — sympathetically — in the sense that the president is trying to do what I think is a good objective," Hoyer said. "What I'm not sure of is that, in fact, that will have the effect, the intended effect, in terms of the retail price — whether, in fact, it will save consumers money," Hoyer said. "We all agree that the price at the pump is hurting working Americans."