President Joe Biden today called for suspending the federal gasoline tax in an effort to ease diesel and gasoline prices for truckers and other consumers.
However, Biden's request for a three-month pause on the tax may prove to be largely symbolic as observers say it has little to no chance of being approved by Congress. And, one of the trucking industry's largest trade associations announced its opposition to the tax respite.
Biden also called on states to take similar action and suspend the collection of their own fuel taxes, which some had already done. He acknowledged the tax pause was not a long-term solution but said it would give Americans some financial breathing room.
However, today, American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear issued a statement calling on leaders in Washington to get serious about lowering energy prices and reducing inflation, rather than considering Biden's proposal to temporarily suspend the federal fuel tax. Spear said:
“After months of touting the passage of the well-funded Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – a much-needed investment in our nation’s roads and bridges – the Biden Administration wants to cut that same highway system’s primary source of funding with a suspension of the federal fuel tax.
“Here are three immediate things this Administration and Congress can do that will actually make a difference. Make America energy independent… stop kissing the ring of Saudi Arabia. Renew trade agreements with the European Union and Asian Pacific nations in order to export more American oil and natural gas. And, balance the budget… stop wasting hard-earned taxpayer dollars on senseless programs that drive up inflation and runaway deficits."
Biden said his proposed federal tax pause would not undermine funding for infrastructure projects. He said the approximately $10 billion in fuel tax revenues would be replaced by funds from other sources.