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Not likely that Biden's gas tax holiday has support in Washington state

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It doesn't look like Washington Governor Jay Inslee, or any local Democratic leaders are getting behind President Biden's call for states to to suspend their local gas taxes.

A spokesperson for Gov. Inslee said such a move would benefit oil companies and would come at the expense of the state's ability to fix our roads and bridges. His office says it could cut revenue for infrastructure projects in the state.

The governor's office also notes that he would need to call a special legislative session to introduce or pass any bill pausing the state's gas tax.

Washington's gas tax of 49 cents per gallon is the second most expensive in the United States. Only California and Pennsylvania have higher gas taxes.

On Wednesday, President Biden called on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax for three months, arguing that it could save consumers money at the pump while gas prices hit record highs.

The national gas tax is 18 cents per gallon of gasoline, and 24 cents per gallon of diesel.

Some economists, however, object to Biden's idea.

"It would be very unlikely that gas prices would fall by more than a dime because of this change. And oil company profits would go up by billions of dollars," Jason Furman told NPR.

Furman served as a top economic adviser to former President Barack Obama and is now at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Another economist, Carola Binder, tells NPR that temporarily nixing the gas tax could worsen the already severe inflation the country is experiencing. And it appears that there is little support for the president's idea from Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

Cecilia Rouse, who chairs the White House Council of Economic Advisers, argued for Biden's gas tax holiday while speaking with NPR this week, saying that it's part of a larger plan, if everybody works together. She said "this is part of a tool kit."

"And if you were to take (what) the president is calling on the federal gas tax holiday, he's calling on states to also relieve their state gas taxes. He's calling on oil producers and refiners to pass the savings on to consumers. You know, all in, it has the potential to reduce prices by about a dollar. But fundamentally, as part of a bigger package where the president is also trying to increase oil supply with historic releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, welcoming OPEC's decision to increase production, increase access to biofuels, so this is an all hands on deck. It's part of a portfolio that he believes is important for bringing relief to consumers."

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