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2022-06-22 07:30:06

In the spring of 2008, as gas prices were barreling towards record highs, presidential candidates John McCain and Hillary Clinton threw their weight behind a gas tax holiday.

Future president Barack Obama, by contrast, dismissed the idea as a political "gimmick" designed purely to win votes. "The easiest thing in the world for a politician to do is tell you exactly what you want to hear," Obama said in April 2008.

Flash forward 14 years. Obama's former vice president is now seriously considering a gas tax holiday to ease the strain of record-high gas prices. President Joe Biden said he hopes to reach a decision by the end of this week on whether to support temporarily pausing the 18.3-cent-per-gallon federal tax.

If it gets through Congress, a gas tax holiday would deliver swift — albeit modest — relief to consumers by lowering retail gasoline prices by as much as 18 cents a gallon.

A gas tax holiday would be politically popular. It would also allow the White House to show that Biden is taking tangible action to address one of the biggest headaches facing families.

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