On Friday, Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan expressed her frustration with the Biden administration for not supporting her push to temporarily suspend the federal gas tax.
The former two-term governor returned to New Hampshire’s State House to formally file to place her name on the Granite State ballot. After filling out her paperwork, she spoke with reporters for a couple hours, noting her differences with the president.
“What I’ve been pushing for is, among other things, is suspending the gas tax. That helps put some more money back in people’s pockets,” Hassan said. “I’m pushing the administration to support that. They haven’t yet and that’s frustrating.”
Hassan and fellow first-term Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona co-authored a bill in February, titled the Gas Prices Relief Act, which would scrap the 18.4-cents-per-gallon federal tax through the rest of 2022. The bill also calls for the Treasury Department to make sure the savings are passed on to consumers rather than the oil companies.
“We also need to stand up to big oil,” Hassan said. “That’s why we have been asking the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to investigate whether there is market manipulation or price gouging going on.”
Last month Hassan went up with a TV commercial in her home state spotlighting that the senator is “taking on members of my own party to push a gas tax holiday, and I am pushing Joe Biden to release more of our oil reserves. That’s how we lower costs and get through these times.”
She echoed that point Friday, saying: “When you look at this, big oil’s got record profits, but they keep increasing the price of gasoline anyway while they have extra capacity that they could tap but they choose not to.”
Hassan on Friday also defended her disagreement with the Biden administration’s move to rescind a Trump-era pandemic restriction known as Title 42, which allowed officials to rapidly expel asylum seekers that crossed the U.S.-Mexico border.
As she arrived at New Hampshire’s State House to file for reelection, Hassan was met by a large group of supporters, as well as a smaller group of immigration activists protesting her stance on border security.
“We have a disagreement here,” Hassan said of the protesters. “I do not think the administration should lift Title 42 until there are resources at the border that ensure safety and security because all sides of this issue agree that once Title 42 is lifted, we’re going to see an increase in illegal border crossing attempts, and we need to have resources on the ground that will really keep the border safe and secure and orderly so that it also be humane.”
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
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