In an effort led by Senator and Rev. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), several Democrat senators in battleground states have signed on to a bill that would suspend the gas tax until 2023.
The Gas Prices Relief Act would lower prices at the pump as gas prices rise to nearly a decade high in a crucial election season.
Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) are co-sponsoring the bill.
Warnock blames “corporate greed” for higher prices at the pump.
“Whether it’s working to ease supply chain issues, crack down on corporate greed, or cap out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs, I’m committed to lowering rising costs for Georgia families,” he said in a release. “Hard-working Georgians being squeezed at the pump understand that every penny counts, and the Gas Prices Relief Act is my latest effort to help working- and middle-class families overcome the economic pressures of the pandemic, and come out on top.”
He followed that up with a Tuesday statement on Twitter.
“My bill to suspend the federal gas tax at the pump will lower costs for Georgia families,” he said. “We can cut costs AND hold gas companies accountable at the same time. Let’s do it.”
My bill to suspend the federal gas tax at the pump will lower costs for Georgia families. We can cut costs AND hold gas companies accountable at the same time. Let’s do it.
— Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) February 15, 2022
The gas tax has been just over 18 cents per gallon since the 1990s, and Georgia’s motorists are now paying an average of $3.24 per gallon at the pump. That number is compared to $2.33 per gallon a year ago, just after former President Trump left office.
The plan would suspend the gas tax completely, but only until January 1 of next year, after the 2022 midterm elections.
Asked whether the plan to eliminate the tax – atypical of Democrat politicians – was in any way related to efforts by the left-wing party to keep control of the U.S. House and Senate in November, Warnock’s office did not respond.
As soon as he took office, President Joe Biden canceled the Keystone XL oil pipeline project that was aimed at making the United States oil independent, and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki downplayed rising gas prices at the end of last year.
“Our view is that the rise in gas prices over the long term makes it an even stronger case for doubling down our investment and our focus on clean energy options so that we are not relying on the fluctuations and OPEC and their willingness to put more supply and meet the demands in the market,” she said in November.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Georgia Star News and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].