Democrats on Capitol Hill are increasingly anxious about how to show voters they are taking aggressive action to deflate swelled gasoline prices, even if that means voting on legislation that would likely not bear results. Dems are doing little to overcome high oil prices.
A new push by Democratic leaders to investigate the oil industry’s alleged price gouging was met with tepid enthusiasm from rank-and-file members. They told The Washington Times that the party should be pursuing legislative action regardless of its effectiveness — all in hopes of avoiding a Republican landslide in November. “It’s a very good start, but we need to do everything we can to get prices down for gas and groceries. It’s a problem for working families like the one I grew up in,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, who heads the House Democrats’ campaign arm. “You’re going to see us with real solutions.” After months of political blowback with no legislative achievements to present to frustrated voters — who on average pay $4.15 per gallon for regular gasoline — Democratic leaders have thrown their caucus a bone.
They want to force the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether oil companies are taking consumers to the cleaners, an idea that top Democrats admit may do more to woo voters than provide near-term relief. President Biden already called in November for a probe by the FTC, which since its establishment in 1914 has never uncovered a nationally coordinated gasoline price-gouging scheme.