President Biden on Wednesday rebuked Republican lawmakers, blaming his administration for high gas prices by asking if he would not support Ukraine in its war with Russia.
“All the Republicans in Congress today criticized me for high gas prices in America. Are you saying that we are wrong to support Ukraine? Are you saying that it is wrong for us to stand in front of Putin? Biden said in a White House statement.
Rising gas prices have been exacerbated by the war due to the disruption in the global energy markets due to the Biden administration and the restrictions imposed by Western Europe on the Kremlin.
The president officially supported the suspension of federal and state taxes on gasoline in his remarks Wednesday. The effort to suspend the federal gas tax, which is 18 cents per gallon, may face challenges in Congress and has already been met with skepticism from GOP lawmakers.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers have demonstrated a rare sense of unity in their support for Ukraine, especially when it comes to helping the US invade Kyiv to send billions in US military and monetary aid.
“Are you saying that we have lower gas prices in America than Putin’s iron fist in Europe?” I don’t believe it, ”Biden said to Republicans.
Biden called it “absurd” to blame Republicans for not doing enough to bring down gas prices. The President called for oil refining companies to take steps to increase productivity in order to help reduce gas prices.
Democrats in Congress are skeptical of the gas tax holiday proposal, which Biden suggested would take effect until September – just two months before the midterm election.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Said in a statement shortly after Biden’s speech that Congress needs to see a consensus to approve the gas tax holiday.
“We’ll see where the consensus is on the way forward for the president’s proposal in the House and Senate,” Pelosi said.
The White House has consistently stated that prices at the pump are around $ 5 per gallon across the US, a result of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and disruption to global energy markets.
“We could have closed our eyes to Putin’s assassination routes and the price of gas would not have risen the way it has. I believe it could have been wrong,” the president said.
“I assure you that I am doing everything I can, everything possible to reduce energy prices, to reduce gas prices,” he added. “And I want to make sure we all work together.”