Amid skyrocketing gas prices, some lawmakers are pushing for proposals from the federal government to help ease the financial burden on Americans by sending stimulus checks or rebates.
The sharpest rise in inflation in decades was already hitting Americans hard when gas prices hit record highs earlier this month, largely driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
According to AAA, the national average price for regular unleaded was $4.237 per gallon as of Wednesday.
Several lawmakers have introduced measures that seek to help ease the stress for Americans.
gas exemption act
A bill proposed by Reps Mike Thompson of California, John Larson of Connecticut, and Lauren Underwood of Illinois would send Americans an energy rebate of $100, plus another $100 for each dependent, for any month where the national average gas consumption is low. The price is over $4 per. gallon
The proposal would work similar to stimulus checks sent out by the federal government in 2020 and 2021. Single filers earning less than $75,000 a year would receive the full exemption, while checks for those earning up to $80,000 would be phased out.
Joint filers earning less than $150,000 would qualify, but the check would be liquidated at $160,000.
“Americans are feeling the effects of Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, and right now we must work together on commonsense policy solutions to ease the financial burden,” Democrat K Thompson said in a statement.
“Putin price hikes are straining our economy, and I am proud to work with Reps. To introduce this law to provide monthly payments to middle-class Americans to ease the financial burden of this global crisis. For Larson and Underwood.”
Big Oil Windfall Profit Tax
A proposal by Representative Ro Khanna of California and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island would tax large oil and gas companies and use the revenue to send quarterly rebates to consumers.
According to a press release, Big Oil would charge a windfall profit tax per barrel tax “equivalent to 50 percent of the difference between the current price of a barrel of oil and the pre-pandemic average price per barrel between 2015 and 2019.” from MPs.
Lawmakers said that if the price per barrel sits at $120, the tax will raise $45 billion annually.
Single filers would receive about $240 each year, while joint filers would receive about $360 each year, he calculated. The payment will be phased out for single filers who earn more than $75,000 in annual income and joint filers who earn more than $150,000.
“This is a bill to reduce gas prices and hold Big Oil accountable. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is driving gas prices up, fossil fuel companies making record profits,” Khanna said in a statement.
“These companies make billions and use the profits to enrich their shareholders, while the average American is hurting at the pump.”
Stop Gas Price Gauging Tax and Rebate Act
A proposal by Oregon Representative Peter DeFazio would create a tax exemption based on the oil company’s profits.
In a press release, DeFazio pointed to a report that found the largest oil and gas companies posted a record $205 billion in profits in 2021.
Under their proposal, companies will pay a “one-time, 50 percent windfall tax” on any adjusted taxable income (ATI) in 2022, up from 110 percent of their average ATI during pre-pandemic levels between 2015 and 2019. is more.
The revenue raised will be returned to the consumers in a phased manner from the income in the form of monthly, advanced and refundable tax credits.
The eligibility criteria will be the same as for stimulus checks sent under the US rescue plan.
“After raising the price of Americans to generate record profits in 2021, Big Oil is now taking advantage of Putin’s price hike,” DeFazio said in a statement.
“As we face supply chain disruptions related to COVID and the uncertainty created by Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, I repeat Big Oil what President Biden said a week ago – whether profiteering or price-pricing There’s no time.”