Lauren Moye, FISM News
President Joe Biden is “considering” proposals for both a national gas tax holiday and student loan debt forgiveness, issues that have been sources of division within his own party.
Biden made comments about both topics yesterday during a Delaware press gaggle.
When asked about a gas tax holiday, Biden answered, “I hope to have a decision based on the data. I’m looking for by the end of the week.”
The federal gas tax costs consumers 18.3 cents per gallon. At the time of this writing according to AAA statistics, national gas prices are at $4.968 per gallon. California has the highest average at $6.382 while Georgia holds the lowest state average at $4.463 per gallon.
A gas tax holiday would require Congress to take action on any proposal. Legislation of this nature has already been introduced to the House. However, it has received mixed views from Democrats.
FISM reported in March that six democratic governors petitioned Congress for a national “Gas Tax Holiday.” Their letter endorsed legislation – spearheaded by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan – that would replace lost gas tax revenue from the general fund. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ultimately rejected the bill, saying the break would not mean money “necessarily landing in the pocket of the consumer.”
Democrat congressmen later pleaded with Pelosi to reverse her decision, implying that the House speaker and other leading Democrats were out-of-touch with some of their constituents. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) said that the gas tax holiday was “not perfect” but that rural voters in states where they “drive 40 miles one-way to work, [were] interested in whatever helps.”
Biden did not indicate how long the gas tax break being considered might last. He also said the White House was considering sending Americans “gas rebate cards.”
One press member asked Biden on Monday, “Are you close to making a decision on student debt?”
The president succinctly responded, “Yes.”
The subject of student loan forgiveness has been another hot-button subject as the midterms loom. President Biden has previously said he is looking at student loan forgiveness, but not the hefty $50,000 per borrower that some in his party prefer.
Progressives have said his rumored $10,000 per borrower won’t go far enough. They have criticized the president for not taking this chance to “reduce the racial wealth gap” and advance an “equitable economic recovery for all,” noting that black borrowers have a disproportionately higher level of student debt than white borrowers.
In April, Biden said a decision on student loan forgiveness would be made “in the next couple of weeks.” Now, some expect to see an announcement made in July or even August, when the current student-loan deferment is set to expire.
Biden did hint that another delay in student-loan payments was being considered, telling reporters, “It’s all on the table right now.”