Menendez Offers Amendment to Provide 60-Day Gas Tax Holiday

Menendez Offers Amendment to Provide 60-Day Gas Tax Holiday

Measure would repeal Bush giveaways to major oil companies

Washington - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today filed an amendment to provide immediate relief to American families at the gas pump by suspending the 18.4 cent federal gas tax for 60 days and repealing several billion-dollar tax giveaways to major oil companies. The Menendez Federal Gas Tax Holiday Amendment is a short-term measured geared toward easing the strain of energy costs already placed on American families.

"Last year, the big oil companies hiked gas prices and blamed an act of God, but its crystal clear that the current spike in gas prices is at least partly due to an act of greed", Menendez said. "We must provide American families immediate relief by suspending the federal gas tax for 60 days and making up for the lost revenue by getting rid of some unnecessary tax giveaways to oil and gas companies."

The Menendez Federal Gas Tax Holiday Amendment gives Americans temporary and immediate relief from sky high gas prices directly at the pump. It suspends the federal gas tax for 60 days to help reduce the cost of gas and diesel for consumers, thereby providing $100 million dollars per day in relief directly to Americans. The amendment is funded by repealing three unnecessary tax breaks currently enjoyed by oil and gas companies, and also eliminating royalty relief and other production incentives enacted last year as part of the Energy Bill.

American families have felt a constant squeeze on their bank accounts as energy costs and gas prices continue to rise. American families are currently paying an average of $2.919 per gallon of gas up from $2.218 just one year ago, according to the AAA. While Hurricane Katrina was blamed for last Septembers spike in gas prices, the current increase in prices the average price of gasoline is up 40 cents per gallon from just last month appears to be driven largely by the oil industrys appetite for profits.

I am pleased that the president has finally reached the sensible conclusion that major oil companies do not need tax breaks, Menendez said in response to comments made by the president today. What were left wondering today is why it took President Bush over five years in office to realize this.

In addition to todays amendment, Menendez will join Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) in offering an amendment that will significantly fund energy efficiency programs, renewable energy research, federal purchases of alternative fuel vehicles, and other provisions.

The Senate is expecting to entertain the Menendez amendment later today.