President Biden's gas tax holiday is a mistake and his administration should instead focus on expanding oil production in the U.S., America's largest association of manufacturers told FOX Business on Wednesday.
Biden called on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax until September in an effort to alleviate pressure on American consumers. The national average gas price is roughly $5, the highest price ever recorded.
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) argues, however, that removing the tax will defund and delay critical government projects, and Biden should instead relieve gas prices by allowing more domestic oil production.
"Our nation achieved historic progress with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, but this move is likely to derail its implementation by suddenly disrupting its funding, delaying critical projects that Americans desperately need and that are vital to manufacturers’ competitiveness," NAM president and CEO Jay Timmons told FOX Business.
"Our focus should be on increasing energy production here at home—to make manufacturers more competitive, to bring energy and gasoline prices down and to provide lasting relief for American families," he added.
The federal government currently charges 18 cents per gallon of gasoline, and 24 cents per gallon of diesel.
The Biden administration argues that the government can afford the tax holiday without losing funding for the Highway Trust Fund, which pays for mass transit and major highways.
"I want to be very clear, the president is calling on Congress to take this step to help American families without harming the Highway Trust Fund, which is funded by these taxes," a senior administration official told FOX Business on Tuesday evening.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a non-partisan group that advocates for reducing the federal budget, also sounded the alarm in February that suspending the gas tax could further increase inflation, which is already sitting at a 40-year high.
"While the gas tax holiday may reduce prices at the pump, it will further increase demand for gasoline and other goods and services at a time when the economy has little capacity to absorb it," the organization wrote at the time. "The result could be even higher rates of inflation in 2023."