The shortened week in Washington is packed with issues that could upend the upcoming midterm elections.
The Biden administration is continuing to look for a solution to high gas prices, which are seen as politically perilous. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court’s long-awaited decision on Roe v. Wade looms, and a legislative gun reform package could be up for a vote.
Here are the top political headlines in Washington, D.C., this week that intersect with business:
On Monday, President Biden said he may decide this week whether to seek a federal gas tax holiday ahead of upcoming Fourth of July celebrations. 47.9 million Americans are expected to travel more than 50 miles for the holiday this year, AAA predicted.
This comes as Americans battle record inflation and record-high gas prices. The move would save Americans an estimated 18.4 cents per gallon at the pump at a time when the average price nationwide is just below $5 per gallon, according to AAA.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called the high gas prices a “substantial burden on American households” while speaking in Toronto on Monday.
Initially floated by Democrats in February as a way to ease high fuel costs, suspending the federal gas tax would require approval by Congress.
Roe v. Wade
The Supreme Court is expected to decide as early as this week whether to overturn Roe v. Wade. Should the case be overturned, it would grant states the authority to regulate abortion rights.
The decision has drawn high-profile criticism from abortion rights advocates and opponents nationwide, particularly after Politico published an exclusive report earlier this summer after obtaining a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade, according to a May PBS News/Marist poll. Though, that same poll found that 68% of Americans “support some type of restrictions on abortion.”
The timeline for bipartisan gun control measures is growing more uncertain as negotiations continue.
Lawmakers are up against a self-imposed deadline to advance a gun reform legislative package before the Senate departs for a two-week Fourth of July recess by the end of the week. The push to expand gun reform comes after a spate of mass shootings earlier in the summer.
Earlier this month, a bipartisan group of senators – led by Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) – backed a framework deal that would in part require more stringent background checks for Americans between the ages of 18 and 21 who wish to purchase guns and increase funding for mental health resources.
But now the group of bipartisan lawmakers must produce legislative text on the framework if they hope to get a vote before their recess. ABC reported the text needs to be ready for a vote by Tuesday.