The White House and top Democrats are considering a federal gas tax holiday for Americans to combat rising prices affecting drivers nationwide.
Deliberations come just days after a group of Senate Democrats introduced a bill that would suspend the gas tax for the remainder of 2022. The impact would make a difference of roughly 18 cents per gallon.
Last week the White House addressed the potential bill saying that “all options are on the table,” as the Biden administration attempts to ease the impact of a period of high inflation.
However, the White House did not offer any official or definitive endorsement of the proposed tax holiday.
Some officials have questioned whether the move would provide meaningful relief or ultimately serve to benefit the producers of gas more than its consumers. There is also fear the new policy might be challenging to end later.
Consideration of the proposal has become more critical as the cost of gasoline has risen sharply in recent months. According to data released Monday by AAA, average prices are now topping $3.48 per gallon. This is an increase of $1 more than this time last year.
Some economists have questioned the idea, saying that it will cost the United States billions in tax dollars, contributing to other financial problems.
Marc Goldwein, a financial lobbyist in D.C., is not supportive of a move that will could further increase inflation.
— Marc Goldwein (@MarcGoldwein) February 15, 2022
The uptick also arrives when U.S. families face other, more recent financial impacts. Americans have seen a steady rise in housing costs, as well as higher prices at the grocery store.
Prices overall climbed 7.5% in January, according to the Consumer Price Index report released last week. Inflation has continued to rise at its most rapid pace in four decades.
The White House has already made several attempts to address public frustration with high gas prices. In November, President Biden released 50 million barrels of oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve.