All Republicans – and 4 Democrats – vote against House bill to stop Big Oil’s price gouging on gas
Four Democrats broke ranks in a vote on a House Democrats bill aimed at cracking down on price gouging by oil and gas companies amid soaring national fuel costs.
Reps. Kathleen Rice, DN.Y., Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Jared Golden, D-Maine, and Lizzie Fletcher, D-Tex., all joined fellow Republicans in a vote against the measure, which was passed a narrow vote 217-207.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Kim Schrier, D-Wash., is unlikely to receive enough Senate support to reach the president’s desk. Yet the bill sums up the party’s extensive messaging campaign to blame price gouging, as opposed to politics, on soaring prices at the pump.
“What’s infuriating is that this is happening at the same time as oil and gas companies are raking in record profits and then pouring those dollars into stock buybacks,” Schrier said Thursday.
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The measure expressly prohibits the practice of setting “unknowingly excessive” fuel prices and encourages the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prosecute violators.
But several of the bill’s Democratic critics argued this week that the measure could be likely to cut oil supplies.
“At best, this bill is a distraction that won’t actually solve the problem. At worst, it could make the problem worse,” CNN said.
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Fletcher echoed that sentiment, telling The Hill that “legislation is not the answer.”
“The Consumer Fuel Pricing Scams Prevention Act would not fix high gasoline prices at the pump and could exacerbate the supply shortage facing our country, leading to even worse outcomes” , she said. “For these reasons, I voted no on this legislation today.”
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Rice also told The Hill that the bill “will have no meaningful impact for consumers and may ultimately act as a deterrent when we need to increase supply.”
In April, House Democrats called on several top oil executives to provide testimony to Congress about why fuel prices, currently at a national average of $4.59 a gallon, are at an all-time high. For the most part, leaders blamed Biden’s oil policies as well as external market forces.