Whitmer, Other Governors Ask for Suspension of Federal Gas Tax

close-up of hand holding gas pump nozzle refueling a car

Six state governors, including Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer, are calling on Congress to suspend the 18.4-cents-per-gallon federal gas tax until the end of the year.

The governors, who sent a letter to Congressional leaders Tuesday, say the measure is necessary to offset rising gasoline prices. The national average this week set a record, passing the previous mark set in 2008.

“At a time when people are directly impacted by rising prices on everyday goods, a federal gas tax holiday is a tool in the toolbox to reduce costs for Americans, and we urge you to give every consideration to this proposed legislation,” Whitmer and the other governors wrote.

According to information provided by AAA, the state’s average price for gas was $4.18 a gallon. That’s up from $3.57 the week before.

The governors argued suspending the federal gas tax would “relieve Americans of the financial stress” caused by increased gas prices amid international crises and rising inflation.

In addition to Whitmer, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers signed the letter. All six are Democrats.

Their letter was addressed to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California; House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California; Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York; and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky.

In the letter, the governors  discussed the Gas Prices Relief Act, legislation sponsored by U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, and U.S. Representatives Elissa Slotkin of Holly and Dan Kildee of Flint, both Democrats.

The act would alleviate the cost of rising gas prices while protecting the federal government’s capacity to make infrastructure investments, the governors said in their letter. The proposal would authorize the U.S. Department of Treasury to transfer general fund dollars to replace the temporarily lost revenue.

Asked about the issue Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said “a range of options” were on the table, including encouraging oil companies to increase their production.