Politics

Senator Joe Manchin hints that he may block President Biden’s plan for a federal gas tax holiday

Democrat Senator Joe Manchin (WV) signaled on Wednesday that he would not support President Joe Biden’s call to Congress for a 3-month federal gas tax holiday, likely hampering any chance of success for the measure.

Speaking to ABC News on Wednesday ahead of the president’s address to the nation regarding soaring gas prices, Manchin hinted that he would likely not support a temporary break from the 18.4 cent-per-gallon federal gas tax. Without Manchin’s support, Biden’s plan to relieve Americans at the pump may stall in the Senate.

“I’m not a yes right now, that’s for sure,” Manchin said to ABC. The West Virginia senator expressed concern that the relief would not make it to the consumer in its entirety. “Now, to do that and put another hole into the budget is something that is very concerning to me, and people need to understand that 18 cents is not going to be straight across the board — it never has been that you’ll see in 18 cents exactly penny-for-penny come off of that price,” Manchin said.

The president called on Congress on Wednesday to suspend the federal gas tax and urged state governments to do the same as gas prices hover near $5 a gallon.

“Today, I’m calling for a federal gas tax holiday, state gas tax holiday for [or] the equivalent relief to consumers; oil companies to use their profits to increase refining capacity rather than buy back their own stock; gas stations to pass along the … decrease in oil prices to lower prices at the pump,” said Biden.

Manchin told ABC his other concern about halting the federal gas tax: political sway. “My other would be the political ramification. [The gas tax holiday] goes off at the end of September. Which politician up here is going to be voting to put that 18-cent tax back on a month before the November election? So, we just dig the whole deeper and deeper and deeper,” the senator said.

It remains unclear whether such a measure would pass through Congress.

ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: ABC NEWS

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