As a result of soaring petrol prices two months before the critically important mid-term elections, US President Joe Biden will tell Congress on Wednesday to defer the federal gas tax for three months.
In order to “provide immediate relief to American buyers who’ve been hit with Russia’s cost increase,” a senior government official said, the White House wants to stop charging the 18 cents per gallon (3.78 liters) Gas Tax until September and will urge US states that also charge at-the-pump taxes to follow suit.
The official pointed out that since Russian President Vladimir Putin started amassing troops on the Ukrainian border earlier this year, prices had increased by approximately $2 per gallon.
The Gas Tax Break Will Bring Relief To Americans
The Highway Trust Fund, which supports public transportation and pays for road maintenance, is supported in part by federal taxes on gasoline and diesel, but Biden will urge Congress to make sure the fund is not harmed by the lost income.
Several states, notably New York and Connecticut, have already paused Gas Taxes in response to growing public outrage over the rising cost of petrol, while others have postponed scheduled tax hikes.
After Putin’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 caused fuel prices to jump not just in the United States but also internationally, aggravating already rising inflation, Biden has taken action to ease the pain at the pump. These actions include negotiating the release of an extra 60 million barrels of oil from overseas partners, boosting access to biofuels, and releasing a million barrels of oil each day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
However, with national average gas prices hovering around $5 per gallon, the Biden administration is anxious to allay consumer concerns about rising costs before the November mid-term elections, which might result in the Democrats losing control of Congress.