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Biden to Call on Congress to Suspend Gas Tax

The president wants to ease pressure at the pump for drivers.

Joe Biden smiles and gazes upward
President Biden pushes for a reprieve amid skyrocketing gas prices.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

As Americans continue to experience high prices for fuel and other necessities, President Joe Biden plans to call on Congress to enact a three-month federal gas tax suspension. On Wednesday, he is holding a press conference to urge legislators to approve the proposal and give drivers some relief.

Ahead of the president's speech, the White House released a statement explaining that Biden wants the suspension to run through the end of September. Pointing to Russia's invasion of Ukraine as a factor in soaring gas prices, the administration notes that Americans have seen average fuel costs hover around $5 per gallon nationwide. 

The federal gas tax, which has been in place since 1932, has been 18.4 cents per gallon for gasoline and 24 cents since 1993. Revenue from those taxes goes toward the Highway Trust Fund, which allots money for road and mass transit projects. Though a gas tax holiday would cost approximately $10 billion, Biden asserts that the measure won't negatively impact the Highway Trust Fund. Rather, he's appealing to congressional leaders to find manageable ways to offset the cost, and believes it's possible with the deficit down by $1.6 trillion.

The president is also calling for state and local governments to take action aimed at giving people a break at the pump. Every state and the District of Columbia has its own gas tax that funds local transportation projects. The amount varies by state, but California has one of the highest in the nation, and it's set to increase to 53.9 cents per gallon on July 1. 

Biden will deliver a speech on the gas holiday proposal today at 2 p.m. ET.