Americans will have to deal with near-record high gas prices for a while longer, according to President Biden.
It wasn’t too long ago the national average gas price breached $5 per gallon, and while it may not be at that number anymore, Americans are still feeling the pinch at the pump. AAA reports, the national average price for a gallon of gas sits at $4.86, and diesel prices still average $5.58 per gallon.
Biden says these numbers will stay high “as long as it takes” to fight back against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, according to Bloomberg.
“As long as it takes, so Russia cannot in fact defeat Ukraine and move beyond Ukraine,” Biden told reporters Thursday in Madrid, in response to a question about how long high gas prices might persist. His comments echoes those of U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his closest geopolitical ally and one who is facing similar pressures back home about the cost-of-living crisis.
These high prices have been a major driver behind inflation, and now the President says he’ll be asking allies in the Persian Gulf to boost oil production when he meets with them during a trip to Saudi Arabia next month, Bloomberg reports.
Biden’s latest comments about inflation — which amount to telling voters that they need to brace themselves for the long haul — are unlikely to play well.
Americans have cited inflation — which hit a four-decade high this spring — as their primary concern heading into November midterms. Democrats will likely lose control of Congress. That worst-case scenario will become even likelier if the US. goes into recession. Concerns about such a downturn are growing daily.
An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll released Wednesday found that 85% of adults said the country was on the wrong track, with 79% describing the economy as “poor.”
In that same poll, 67% of Democrats deemed economic conditions as bad.
Biden has repeatedly called on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax for three months, but some Democratic lawmakers have stifled those plans.
As for how long “as long as it takes” is, well, that’s anyone’s guess. Buckle up and grit your teeth, kids. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.