New Hampshire

Up for Reelection in NH, Sen. Maggie Hassan Proposes Suspending Federal Gas Tax

Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire is calling for the federal government's 18-cent gas tax to be suspended through the end of 2022

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Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire, has put out a proposal that would temporarily lower gas prices by suspending the federal 18-cent gas tax through the end of the year.

"We know how hard inflation is hitting our families," she said. "What we should all be focused on is making sure that our families can afford the basics."

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Hassan, who is up for reelection, says it is just one of the ways government can help working families during tough times.

But two of Hassan's Republican challengers, Kevin Smith and Chuck Morse, call the proposal a gimmick. They say getting rid of the gas tax does nothing to correct what they call Hassan's failed energy policies.

"Anyone knows that we're sending our money to Russia and OPEC nations right now instead of being energy independent," Morse said.

Hassan says the bipartisan infrastructure deal will help transition to a clean-energy economy that will bring down energy costs over time. But Smith says Hassan hasn't been fighting hard enough, and not just on energy.

"She hasn't done anything about the southern border, she hasn't done anything about parental rights and education, and those are all issues that I'm going to work on," Smith said.

Hassan's U.S. Senate race was one of the most closely watched in the country, at least until November, when Gov. Chris Sununu said he would not run.

"Oh, I think the spotlight will be on this race," Morse said.

"They are looking for fresh new voices, and I think that's what I represent," Smith said.

Smith, Morse and a third Republican, Don Bolduc, all say they would welcome Donald Trump's endorsement.

"They would also welcome Mitch McConnell's support," Hassan said.

While Hassan's gas tax proposal may be popular with voters in New Hampshire, it will likely face an uphill battle on Capitol Hill.

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