Stimulus Update: Federal Gas Rebate Checks Worth $100 a Month Forthcoming?

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President Joe Biden has dug deep into his bag of tricks to deal with the surging price of gasoline in the United States, from tapping into emergency oil reserves and floating the idea of a federal gas tax holiday to urging oil companies to ramp up production. Now Biden and other lawmakers are considering sending a federal gas rebate check to Americans.

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A White House official told Fox Business in early June that the Biden administration has not ruled out the distribution of gas rebate cards as a way of subsidizing the price of gas for American motorists. “The president has made clear that he is willing to explore all options and hear all ideas that would help lower gas prices for the American people,” said the official, whose name was not disclosed.

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Other legislators are also considering rebate checks as the price of gas continues to hover near all-time highs. One proposal is a federal gas stimulus check that would give eligible Americans $100 a month through the end of the year, or for as long as the price of gas exceeds $4 a gallon, CNET reported. U.S. Reps. Lauren Underwood (D-OH), Mike Thompson (D-CA) and John Larson (D-CT) proposed the idea in March with their Gas Rebate Act of 2022.

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The measure would send eligible Americans $100 for every remaining month in 2022 that gasoline continues to average more than $4 a gallon. Those with dependents would receive an additional $100. Currently, the average price for a gallon of gas nationally is $4.857, according to AAA. The price has fallen since surging above $5 a gallon earlier this month, but it might be a long time before if drops below $4.

Under the Gas Rebate Act of 2022, individuals earning less than $75,000 a year would get the full $100, CNET reported. Individuals earning over $80,000 wouldn’t be eligible for the rebate. Joint filers earning less than $150,000 would receive the full $100, while those earning $160,000 or more would not be eligible.

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However, the proposal remains stalled in the U.S. House, mainly because of pushback from lawmakers who oppose any more relief programs following a series of stimulus payments that were sent out during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Meanwhile, other states and cities have floated gas tax rebates of their own — most notably California, where average gas prices are nearly $6.30 a gallon. As previously reported by GOBankingRates, the proposed California budget calls for a gas tax rebate as high as $1,050 per eligible household, but the measure not yet been voted on in the state Senate and Assembly.

North Carolina also is considering some form of gas stimulus, CNET noted, while the city of Chicago has already started issuing some of the 50,000 prepaid $150 gas cards and 100,000 prepaid $50 transit cards approved by the city council.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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