Republican Speaker of the House, John ‘the crying man’ Boehner, took aim at the Obama administration faulting him for rising gas prices. “Running on empty: Obama administration does nothing to address skyrocketing gas prices,” read a press release from the House Speaker’s office. He went on to point out that oil prices will likely be the focus of next year’s presidential election and suggested Obama would not see a second term if gas prices were to rise above $5 dollars per gallon.
But let’s keep in mind the real reason behind his statements: to shift the attention off the GOP’s shady agenda! His remarks come only after polls show sharp opposition to the Republican party’s attempt to continue to cut taxes for the rich which would result in higher health insurance premiums for senior citizens.
With Americans upset over rising gasoline prices, Republicans in Congress aim to fix the blame on one person when they return next week from recess: President Barack Obama.
Congress wrapped up its last work session on April 15 with Democrats and Republicans in a blistering debate over budget deficits and the size of the federal government.
Now, Republican leaders in the House of Representatives aim to pivot to another hot-button issue: high gasoline prices that are hitting consumers who are already struggling to recover from a prolonged economic downturn.
“Running on empty: Obama administration does nothing to address skyrocketing gas prices,” screamed a press release on Tuesday from House Speaker John Boehner’s office.
The Republicans’ focus on energy comes as the national retail price for regular gasoline has hit $3.88 a gallon, more than $1 a gallon more than a year ago.
Gas pump sticker shock could get worse as the looming U.S. summer driving season hikes demand for gasoline and political unrest continues in Middle East oil-producing countries.
All this has U.S. motorists worried that gasoline prices could approach the record-high $4.11 per gallon of July 2008.
Boehner’s move to put a bull’s eye on gasoline prices also comes as public opinion polls show opposition to Republican initiatives that would further cut taxes for the rich while making senior citizens pay more for health insurance.
“As gasoline prices close in on $4 a gallon, that is going to be part of the conversation,” said Spencer Pederson, a spokesman for the House Natural Resources Committee.
The Republicans believe Obama wrongfully stood in the way of offshore oil drilling because of safety concerns following last year’s BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Gulf of Mexico oil output will decline by 190,000 barrels per day in 2011, according to Energy Department forecasts.
“That’s lost oil on the world market,” leading to higher prices, Pederson said. That quantity, however, is only a speck of the estimated 1.52 million barrel per day increase in global demand this year.
The 2012 presidential and congressional elections are 18 months away, but they already dominate the Washington dynamic.
In an interview with a Virginia radio station on Tuesday, Obama said his administration was “talking to oil producers around the world and letting them know it’s in their interest to make sure that high oil prices don’t end up hurting the world economy.”
Oil producing countries, he said, should ramp up their production to moderate gasoline prices.
Obama also urged Congress to end oil and gas industry tax breaks that cost billions of dollars.
Senator Charles Schumer, one of the top-ranking Democrats, backed up Obama’s call saying: “These subsidies are a relic of a time when oil was $17 per barrel and oil companies needed incentives to drill. That time has long since ended.”
Oil prices are now around $112 per barrel.
Tsk. Tsk. These GOP guys are predictable at this point. The only reason they are making a stink about the gas prices is because they’re trying to push tax cuts for the rich and raise senior health insurance. Let’s not forget they made the mess in the oil industry years ago and we’re all suffering the consequence at the gas pumps so they shift the blame, divert the attention away from the real issue and take jabs at everyone’s soft spot … our wallets?! SMH.