With No Price Relief at the Pump in Sight, Challenger Questions Why
Incumbent Against Increased Domestic Production
Syracuse, New York – Republican, Conservative, and Independence candidate for U.S. Congress John Katko (NY-24) today called on current Congressman Dan Maffei to oppose growing efforts in Washington, DC to raise the federal gas tax.
“Central New York families and small businesses continue to struggle to keep up in this Obama economy,” said Katko. “The last thing my neighbors and I need is to pay more at the gas pump just to feed new spending in Washington. We currently pay over 68 cents per gallon in state and federal taxes.i A nickel more here and a dime more there ends up adding up to quite a bit for most households at the end of the month. Now is not the time to raise the federal gas tax.”
After Maffei publicized his plan for spending billions of dollars in new infrastructure projects in Central New York early last week, Katko questioned why he failed to include any suggestions to pay for it. The construction of Dan Maffei’s fast train across Upstate New York alone could cost upwards of $14.7 billion.ii To date, Maffei has offered no plan to pay for any of his new infrastructure spending plans.
Then late last week, Maffei voted against bipartisan legislation that would help ease the pain at the pump by expanding production of America’s own energy resources. Maffei voted against H.R. 4899, the Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act,iii which would expand U.S. energy production by reopening offshore drilling locations previously closed by Obama, eliminating onshore production red-tape, and accessing National Petroleum Reserve deposits in Alaska to provide Central New York families with some relief at the pump.
According to AAA, the national average price of gasoline is $3.67 per gallon of regular unleaded, with a Syracuse Metropolitan average of $3.82 per gallon.iv Even more, AAA reports that the turmoil in Iraq will continue to push prices up through the remainder of the summer.
“Dan Maffei says he’s for the middle class, but his actions speak otherwise,” added Katko. “Our Member of Congress should refuse to raise the federal gas tax and fight to increase domestic gas production to provide Central New York families and small businesses the relief they need at the gas pump.”