TYLER, Texas — U.S. President Joe Biden called on Congress Wednesday to suspend the federal gas tax to keep more money in Americans’ pockets.
Gas prices now are leaving drivers squeezing for more. The federal gas tax is 18.4 cents per gallon. Biden’s plan to suspend it for three months has some feeling optimistic, but others are skeptical it will save them money in the long run.
"I hope everyone gets a break soon because you can tell there’s sort of like a pressure cooker going on and it would be really great if people could get a break and help each other out," a Tyler driver said.
"You know the way groceries have gone up and everything’s gone up, what are you going to do with an extra $4 every time you by a tank of gas," another Tyler driver said.
Without the gas tax, the federal government would receive a hit to its pocketbook as well. The highway trust fund could lose about $6 billion, according to a Gas Buddy analyst. Here in Texas, the American Automobile Association said the money would be crucial to infrastructure upgrades for the state’s roads.
"Certainly, though, given the nature of some of the roadways here in Texas, you would hope that that funding doesn't go away, because there's a lot of areas that need improvements and upgrades. And not just here in Texas, but across the country," Daniel Armbruster, AAA spokesperson said.
That’s enough for some drivers to say they’d rather keep paying full price.
"I’d rather it go to the highways," another Tyler driver said.
AAA added that when you break down a gallon of gas, more than half of it is based on the cost of crude oil. If crude oil remains expensive, then the price of gas will remain expensive despite the short-term tax suspension.