WASHINGTON: Joe Biden pitched a temporary fuel tax break on Wednesday to help American drivers face the highest inflation in four decades, but critics called it window dressing by an unpopular US president ahead of difficult midterm elections.
Biden asked Congress to suspend the federal gas tax for three months as price increases -- in large part spurred by fallout from President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent Western sanctions on Russia -- drive general inflation.
In a televised address, Biden called for lifting the federal tax on gasoline of 18 cents a gallon until September. He also asked state governments to suspend their own taxes for the same period. Noting that gas prices -- now averaging near $5 per gallon -- had gone up almost $2 a gallon since the start of the Ukraine invasion, Biden said he was doing what he could.