About a month ago, President Biden ordered the release of a million barrels of oil a day from national reserves to help curb steep gas prices. On Tuesday, however, those gas prices reached their steepest point on record—an average of $4.37 across the US, reports the Hill. No state has gas for less than $3.90, and drivers in California are paying $5.84. When adjusted for inflation, Americans paid more in 2008, the equivalent of an average of $5.37 a gallon in today's dollars. But Biden himself on Tuesday acknowledged the hit to people's wallets from rising prices in general.
"I know that families all across America are hurting because of inflation," he said in a White House speech Tuesday, per Reuters. "I want every American to know that I am taking inflation very seriously and it is my top domestic priority." Biden, apparently trying to head off voter resentment before the midterms, sought to blame Republicans for holding up his agenda and contrasted his plans with one floated by GOP Gov. Rick Scott of Florida for a minimum federal income tax, reports the Washington Post.
"The bottom line is this: Americans have a choice right now between two paths reflecting two very different sets of values," Biden said. "My plan attacks inflation and lowers the deficit. … The other path is the ultra MAGA plan." Emma Vaughn, a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee, counters: "Voters know that Republican-led states are leading in economic recovery and job creation, and will vote for Republicans and our proven agenda come November." (Read more President Biden stories.)