A bill that would set gas price limits and prevent 'exploitative' cost hikes is headed for a House vote
- Nancy Pelosi announced a bill that would crack down on "exploitative" gas prices.
- The bill is headed for a House vote, but is unlikely to garner the necessary Republican support.
Congress will vote next week on a bill that would prohibit "excessive" gas prices.
The legislation would enable President Joe Biden to issue an emergency energy declaration making it illegal to increase gas and home energy prices in an "exploitative" manner. The bill, titled the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Act, would give the Federal Trade Commission the authority to crack down on oil companies with over $500 million in annual consumer fuel sales.
In a press conference announcing the legislation on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said "price gouging needs to stop."
"While families are struggling to pay higher prices at the pump, oil and gas companies are recording record profits," Pelosi said. "This is a major exploitation of the consumer, because this is a product the consumer must have," she added.
The bill is unlikely to receive the Republican support needed to turn it into a law. Following Pelosi's announcement, some Republican lawmakers took to Twitter to criticize the proposed legislation, including Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-North Dakota) who said claims of price gouging among Democrats is "ridiculous."
—Congressman Kelly Armstrong (@RepArmstrongND) April 28, 2022
The legislation is just the latest attempt by Democrats to address surging fuel prices. Democratic leaders have also considered creating initiatives to incentivize US oil companies to ramp up production.
Pelosi said Russia's invasion of Ukraine is largely to blame for elevated gas prices. Costs have continued to soar in recent weeks as a result of sanctions placed on Russian oil.
"The Putin tax-cut hike at the pump is a part of this," she said.
The bill was first put forward by Reps. Katie Porter (D-California) and Kim Schrier (D-Washington) last week. They railed against the oil companies that they say have profited from record gas prices.
"What's infuriating is that this is happening at the same time that gas and oil companies are making record profits and taking advantage of international crises to make a profit," Schrier said. "This must stop."
Several major oil companies have recorded record profits in 2022. In May, Shell, one of the largest oil companies in the world, reported a record-breaking $9.1 billion in quarterly profit. The same week, BP reported its highest profit in 10 years.
Fuel prices have continued to smash records. Earlier this week, gas prices hit a new record high as the average price nationwide climbed to $4.42, per AAA.
Gas is not the only commodity with prices on the rise. Though new data from the Consumer Price Index released Wednesday showed inflation slowed for the first time in eight months in April, the gauge found inflation has climbed a whopping 8.3% in 2022 through last month.
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