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Suspending federal gas tax has a '50/50 chance of passing Congress'

Suspending federal gas tax has a '50/50 chance of passing Congress'
Suspending federal gas tax has a '50/50 chance of passing Congress' 02:32

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - President Biden is calling on Congress to suspend federal gasoline and diesel tax for three months to help travelers during the busy summer season. 

Some lawmakers have been quick to call this gimmick, others are more optimistic.  

"Most Democrats are probably in favor of it," Bernard Weinstein, retired associate director at SMU's Maguire Energy Institute, said. "Some Republicans are probably in favor of it. I would give it a 50/50 chance of it passing Congress."  

However, given the federal gasoline tax is about 18 cents per gallon of gas and 24 cents on diesel, Weinstein said you probably won't save much. 

The typical small SUV with a 15 gallon gas tank costs about $74 to fill up. Eliminating the federal gas tax would lower the cost by about $3. However, oil companies or gas stations could always offset the relief by increasing prices. 

"It's not going to have much of an impact of the pump, but it could have a serious impact on the pace of repairs to our deteriorating highway system," Weinstein said. 

Weinstein points out gas tax is the primary way improvements are funded, generating about $20 billion a year.  

Gas Buddy says when it comes to efforts to curb inflation, it may end up making things worse because cutting prices risks Americans increasing consumption which could eventually cause prices to go up down the road.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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