Gov. Tim Walz and five other Democratic governors have called on congressional leaders to temporarily suspend the federal gas tax as prices at the pump surge due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
President Biden announced Tuesday that the United States would ban energy imports from Russia, the latest in the growing number of economic sanctions the country is levying on Vladimir Putin's regime.
The price of oil has been spiking since the invasion happened and continues to do so as sanctions escalate.
While the United States only gets a small fraction of its oil from Russia, the wider sanctions against the country from European countries and other allies is causing rising demand for oil supplies, with the rising barrel prices being passed on to consumers at the pump.
To soften the blow for U.S. consumers as gas prices jump to over $4 per gallon, Walz and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has joined the governors of Michigan, Colorado, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania to call on House and Senate leaders to suspend the federal gasoline tax for the rest of the year.
The tax is currently 18.4 cents on a gallon of unleaded and 24.3 cents on a gallon of diesel.
In a letter to Sens. Chuck Schumer (D) and Mitch McConnell (R) and Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D) and Kevin McCarthy (R), the governors say: "Money saved at the pump translates into dollars back in consumers' pockets for groceries, childcare, rent, and more."
Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Walz also said he's willing to consider proposals by some members of the House DFL that would suspend the state gas tax over the summer months, which would save a further 28 cents per gallon.
This proposal has been criticized by the Minnesota GOP, who described it as an "election year gimmick."