This week, similar proposals made by both John McCain and Hillary Clinton to suspend the federal gas tax during peak driving months this summer have been getting a lot of national media attention. But it looks like, ultimately, those proposals will be moot: Two Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives have now expressed their opposition to the idea.
On Wednesday, it was House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) who said he would not favor a tax holiday. But the signal that the proposals would have little chance of passage for this summer came Thursday, from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). In a press conference, she said she did not support the idea and would not be pushing for it. Asked for her specific objections, Pelosi said, "There is no reason to believe any moratorium on the gas tax will be passed on to consumers. That's first and foremost... Second of all, it would defeat everything that we have been trying to do to lower the cost of oil."
The holiday proposal has been widely panned by experts. But that isn't stopping the Clinton campaign. In a conference call with reporters, Clinton spokesman Wolfson dismissed the expert consensus. According to the NPR News Blog, Wolfson said:
We believe that the presidency requires leadership. There are times when a president will take a position that a broad consensus of quote unquote experts will agree with, and there are times when a president will do something that the group of experts quote unquote does not agree with.
And you know, this is something that Senator Clinton believes is the right policy... she believes it's the right policy in the short term to help consumers who are struggling, and she has, as I said, a very comprehensive plan to deal with this in the long term as well. And she's going to continue to talk about this and continue to push for it. And I understand that there may be some people who disagree with it and of course they're entitled to disagree with it. You know, this is something that Senator Clinton believes is important. And presidents listen to advice, get advice, and then, and then act. And that is what Senator Clinton is doing.