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Saturday, January 28, 2023
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White House To Go on Offensive Against GOP as Gas Prices

'After standing with Big Oil over the President’s work to deliver relief for families, and with lies over facts, congressional Republicans need to answer a fundamental question...'

(Philip Wegmann, RealClearPolitics) The average price for a gallon of gas has fallen below what it was one year ago, and the White House is preparing to go on the offense politically as consumers see more money in their pockets ahead of the holidays. The administration argument? Thank President Biden.

Republicans were only half-joking when they insisted not long ago that they only needed to campaign outside of gas stations to win back congressional majorities. But Democrats held back the GOP in the Senate; AAA reported Wednesday that the national average for a gallon of gas was $3.50, and the administration would very much like to revisit that past criticism.

A White House memo obtained first by RealClearPolitics argues that Republicans, in particular House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Florida Sen. Rick Scott, were wrong when they blamed Biden for increased gas prices and called for the repeal of the Inflation Reduction Act.

“After standing with Big Oil over the President’s work to deliver relief for families, and with lies over facts, congressional Republicans need to answer a fundamental question,” Andrew Bates, a White House spokesman, wrote in a memo.

“Now that gas prices are plunging with the Inflation Reduction Act firmly in place, will they reverse themselves and stop calling for raising energy costs on the middle class, and for killing American manufacturing jobs in red states while keeping more overseas?”

While Republicans sought to pin higher prices on Democrats, the White House memo notes that Biden was making “historic deployments from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve” and putting “Big Oil” on notice for keeping prices high even “as they made record profits.”

On that former question, conservatives did not hold back during the fall. Ohio Sen.-elect JD Vance told RCP that Biden’s decision to tap the reserve was a craven political move meant to shore up Democratic chances ahead of the midterms. Vance called it “the most politically selfish thing an American president has done in recent memory.”

Ahead of the holidays, the White House plans on savoring the rebuttal, particularly as it relates to the Inflation Reduction Act.

“Throughout the year, Republicans in Congress accused the president’s achievements for the middle class of being to blame for gas prices, demanding that historic laws needed to be repealed in order for gas prices to go down,” the memo reads.

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