A federal gas tax holiday is being discussed by President Joe Biden's White House amid rampant inflation and rising fuel costs in a midterm year, and one former Obama administration official suggests keeping it for as long as Russia's war in Ukraine lasts.
There are talks planned for later this week to hash out the details with the economic team, sources told The Hill.
"It's definitely an option on the table," a Democrat told The Hill on Monday.
The talks are a signal inflation and midterm election pressures are getting to Democrats, as Americans are lashing out about rising costs at the pump.
A federal suspension of gas taxes — as many states have already moved toward — would require an act of Congress.
Still, the Biden administration will keep the narrative on Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine as the cause for inflation and the need for a gas tax holiday, according to the report.
That is because former President Barack Obama's economic adviser Robert Wolf is pitching a federal gas tax holiday for only as long as Russia's war in Ukraine lasts, The Hill reported.
"I know that some may view this as somewhat gimmicky because it will revert itself at some point, but a majority of the recent gas hike since the beginning of the year has been due to the Russian invasion," Wolf told The Hill. "I think tying it solely to the war and setting an end date makes it more strategic and smart.
"I also think it ties directly into the Putin price hike narrative and aligns well with President Biden's concern about how inflation is impacting hard-working Americans and he will use every tool available," he added.
"It's clear the White House is doing absolutely everything it can right now," Democrat think tank Third Way's Josh Freed told The Hill. "It would make sense that a gas tax holiday is on the table as part of their strategy."
Vulnerable Democrats are calling for the gas tax holiday, including Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., drafting a bill in February that would suspend the gas tax through the end of this midterm year.
"What I've been pushing for is, among other things, suspending the gas tax," Hassan told Fox News recently. "That helps put some more money back in people's pockets.
"I'm pushing the administration to support that. They haven't yet, and that's frustrating."
Biden, instead, is still blaming oil companies for not producing more — despite his own administration officials having asked those companies to do the exactly the opposite last year in the name of a green agenda.
"Exxon made more money than God this year," Biden said in Los Angeles last week.
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