Biden says he will decide on federal gas tax holiday ‘by the end of the week’ – USA TODAY

President Joe Biden said Monday that he hopes to make a decision about a gas tax holiday by the end of the week, as the administration looks for ways to ease record fuel prices.

Biden told reporters he is considering a pause on the federal gas tax, which some lawmakers in his party have pushed as a way to reduce prices at the pump for Americans.

“Well, I hope I have a decision based on the data I’m looking for … by the end of the week,” Biden said Monday while on vacation in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

The gas tax adds 18.3 cents per gallon of gasoline. The national average price for a gallon was $4.981 on Monday, according to AAA.

Pause on tax? Biden officials say recession isn’t ‘inevitable,’ gas tax holiday remains a possibility

Biden administration officials suggested on Sunday that the administration could suspend the federal tax gas, with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen saying on ABC’s “This Week” that it’s “an idea that’s certainly worth considering” and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm saying on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the idea was under evaluation.

“Part of the challenge with the gas tax, of course, is that it funds the roads, and we just did a big infrastructure bill to help fund the roads,” Granholm said.

She added that “if we remove the gas tax, that takes away the funding that was just passed by Congress to be able to do that.”

Biden said he talked Monday morning with Larry Summers, former Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration and economic adviser in the Obama administration, who has raised alarm about a potential recession as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates to tame inflation.

“I was talking to Larry Summers this morning, and there’s nothing inevitable about a recession,” Biden said.

Summers has blamed spending from Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, passed in 2021, for fueling inflation and blasted the idea of a gas tax holiday as “shortsighted, ineffective, goofy and infective.”

Later this week, Biden said he plans to sit down with CEOs of oil companies and seek “an explanation how they justify making $35 billion” during the first quarter of 2022.

The president expressed optimism that he will be able to find support in Congress to lower health care costs, including capping the cost of insulin at $35 – one piece of his domestic agenda that stalled his Congress earlier this year.

“I think we’re going to be able to get a change in Medicare and a reduction in the cost of insulin,” Biden said.

Biden said he wants to increase taxes on corporations to pay for the proposals, but his plan to overhaul the tax system has faced resistance in the evenly divided Senate.

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