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Youngkin says Virginia Senate Democrats out of step with Biden on gas tax

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Gov. Glenn Youngkin pumped gas for David Lasrado March 16 as they discussed climbing prices.

As President Joe Biden called on Congress for a three-month gas tax holiday, Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Wednesday pointed to Virginia Senate Democrats who spurned his state proposal.

"Now, the White House is calling on states to move forward on gas tax suspensions — demonstrating that VA Senate Dems are out of step with everyday people and their own party," Youngkin tweeted on Wednesday.

"Gas prices are not sustainable for families in Virginia, and it is astonishing that Senate Democrats blocked my gas relief proposal three times and squandered the opportunity to do the right thing. Virginians deserved a better answer than 'no.' "

In a speech on Wednesday Biden urged Congress to suspend the federal gas tax of 18 cents a gallon and the tax on diesel of 24 cents a gallon.

Biden also called on states to suspend their own taxes.

Virginia's average price for a regular gallon of gas is $4.793 and its average price for diesel is $5.796 a gallon, according to AAA.

Youngkin on Tuesday ceremonially signed state budgets that do not include his bid to suspend the state's gas tax for three months.

Senate Democrats spurned three Youngkin efforts to suspend the state gas tax.

While Republican lawmakers urged Senate Democrats to help give Virginians some relief at the pump, Democrats said changes in the wholesale price of gas do not materialize at the pump.

Democrats also asserted that the state should not be diverting funding from state transportation to pay for a gas tax holiday.

On Friday Senate Democrats defeated Youngkin's third attempt to suspend the gas tax, this time via a budget amendment.

“Taxes have virtually nothing to do with the price of gasoline," said Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, D-Fairfax.

Youngkin is likely to continue his push on the gas tax in Virginia's closely fought U.S. House elections and in next year's fight for control of the General Assembly.

acain@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6645

Twitter: @AndrewCainRTD

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