SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Republican lawmakers did not get enough votes to suspend the rules to move forward on California's gas tax on Monday.
They needed 54 votes and only got 18. Legislative Republicans called for the immediate suspension of California's 51-cent per gallon gas tax in response to record-high gas prices.
"To cut the state gas tax in its entirety, that'll save Californians 51 cents a gallon," said Assemblymember Kevin Kiley (R). "Now, that's not going to bring gas prices down to reasonable levels by any stretch of the imagination. But it'll help."
The Republican leaders said they would be open to supporting Governor Gavin Newsom's gas tax rebate in the future, but only in addition to the gas tax holiday. They said the holiday is an immediate relief to millions of people at the pump.
Why try and force the vote? The bill was introduced in January, and the Republican lawmakers said it’s yet to even be assigned to a committee. They said they’re being shut out of the legislative process.
The proposal included suspending the gas tax and backfill projects from the state's $45 billion surpluses.
Former Democratic lawmaker turn labor union leader Lorena Gonzalez called Monday's attempt political theater. The 18 votes Republicans got were all down party lines.
Kiley said the voters will be watching and will be feeling how out of touch their representatives are as they continue to pay record prices at the pump.
Economists say Newsom's plan for a rebate is better, but it'll be a while before consumers start to see that money. Republicans have also pointed out that there are very few details on it.
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