CHARLESTON, W.VA. (WOWK & WBOY)—A spokesperson for West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin confirmed to WBOY’s sister station in Charleston, 13 News, that Manchin will vote against President Joe Biden’s proposed gas tax holiday.
Biden is expected to call on Congress Wednesday afternoon to suspend federal taxes on gas and diesel for three months.
This would cut $0.18 per gallon on gas and $0.24 on diesel for drivers.
During an interview with ABC, Manchin said he has several concerns. “I’m not a yes right now, that’s for sure,” Manchin said.
Manchin said that he was concerned to “put another hole in the budget,” referring to the Federal Gas Tax Highway Trust Fund which is a major source of funding for highway building and repairs.
Manchin also pointed out that if the gas tax is paused for three months, it would be scheduled to go back into effect in September, right before elections. “My other would be the political ramification. It goes off at the end of September. Which politician up here is going to be voting to put that 18-cent tax back on a month before the November election? So, we just dig the whole deeper and deeper and deeper,” Manchin said to ABC.
Manchin was also hesitant to sign a bill that would remove a resource for improved infrastructure. “We need a lot of adjustments made,” he said.
The last point that Manchin made in his interview with ABC was that the this would only be a short-term fix. He referenced COVID relief checks, saying “We put over $5 trillion out into the marketplace and it’s all forgotten and all we have now is higher inflation and really more hardship on people that need some good decisions here in the Congress. We just need to start looking at the long-term effect of what we are doing and how we are doing it,” he said.
As of Wednesday, gas prices in West Virginia averaged $4.903 a gallon, and prices averaged $4.955 nationally.