Michigan Gov. Whitmer asks Biden to pause federal gas tax after vetoing state gas tax holiday

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, D-Mich., urged President Biden to pause the federal gas tax Tuesday, just months after declining to pause her own state’s gas tax.

Whitmer penned a letter to Biden, asking him to work with Congress to temporarily pause the tax, a move that would save Americans 18.4 cents a gallon at the pump. The letter came after the president told reporters Monday he was weighing whether to pursue such a policy.

“Getting this done would save families money right now,” Whitmer wrote in the letter. “As Americans bear the brunt of inflation and face rising prices on everything from groceries, childcare, rent, and other critical expenses, the federal government has the ability to reduce the price of fuel and put more money in their pockets.”

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants President Biden to pause the federal gas tax. The governor vetoed a Republican-led effort to create a gas tax holiday in her state. 

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants President Biden to pause the federal gas tax. The governor vetoed a Republican-led effort to create a gas tax holiday in her state.  (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

“Getting this done will offer real, immediate relief without compromising the federal government’s ability to make infrastructure investments,” she continued.

Whitmer vetoed legislation in April that would have paused Michigan’s 27-cent-per-gallon gas tax. The Michigan governor said at the time that the tax was important for funding infrastructure projects statewide.

She vowed instead to work on other solutions like cutting Michigan’s 6% sales tax on gasoline purchases.

“With rising prices hammering family budgets – especially at the gas pump and the grocery store – people need and deserve some help,” Republican state Rep. Annette Glenn said after Whitmer’s veto. 

“Lowering taxes is one of the quickest, most effective ways to provide financial relief. Instead of blocking the Legislature’s efforts, the governor should be working with us to help Michiganders in their time of need,” she added.   

Gas prices over $6.00 per gallon are displayed at a Chevron gas station on May 20 in San Rafael, California. 

Gas prices over $6.00 per gallon are displayed at a Chevron gas station on May 20 in San Rafael, California.  (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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The average price of gasoline nationwide fell to $4.97 per gallon Tuesday after hitting an all-time record of $5.02 a gallon last week, according to AAA data. 

Pump prices have skyrocketed nearly 62% over the last 12 months and have been a major driver of inflation.

In Michigan, the average gas price fell to $5.14 per gallon Tuesday, the data showed.

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