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Democratic Senators Propose Suspending Federal Gas Tax Until End-2022

Two Democratic Senators have introduced a bill proposing the suspension of the federal gas tax until the end of 2022, as many U.S. voters are concerned with the soaring gasoline and energy prices.

Senators Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), both of whom are up for re-election in the November midterm elections, have introduced a so-called Gas Prices Relief Act, which proposes a federal gas tax holiday until January 1, 2023, ABC News reported on Wednesday, citing a summary of the proposal sent to it.

The federal gas tax has been $18.4 cents per gallon since 1993 and pays for the construction of highways and public transit projects.

According to the bill, onto which at least four other Democrats have signed as co-sponsors, the Department of the Treasury would need to transfer general funds to the trust fund collecting the federal gas tax proceeds to make up for the lost revenues on the gas tax, Associated Press notes.

“This bill will lower gas prices by suspending the federal gas tax through the end of the year to help Arizona families struggling with high costs for everything from gas to groceries,” Senator Kelly of Arizona said in a statement carried by ABC News.

“We need to continue to think creatively about how we can find new ways to bring down costs, and this bill would do exactly that, making a tangible difference for workers and families,” Senator Hassan said. 

Gasoline prices in the United States are now exactly $1 per gallon higher than they were at this time last year. According to AAA data, the national average price of regular gasoline was $3.469 a gallon on February 9, compared to $2.469/gal a year ago.

The Biden Administration is struggling with high gasoline prices—one of the most sensitive topics for voters ahead of the midterm elections in November, where the Democratic majority in Congress is at stake.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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