CONCORD – Fergus Cullen, Chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party issued the following statement today:

“The wallets of Granite State residents are getting killed at the pump these days, but Barack Obama doesn’t seem to mind. Even though he voted in favor of a similar gas tax holiday when he served in the Illinois state Senate, he’d rather see New Hampshire drivers leave more of their hard-earned paycheck at the pump this summer than live free from the federal gas tax. I guess you could say he was for a gas tax holiday before he was against it.”


Chicago Daily Herald (Allison Kaplan, "Owner Tries To Find Humor In Soaring Gas Prices," Chicago Daily Herald , 2/25/00)

Chicago Daily Herald (Robert McCoppin, "Everyone Feels Pain Of Pumped-Up Prices," Chicago Daily Herald , 5/27/00)

"Gas Prices Averaged $1.52 A Gallon In March 2000." The Wall Street Journal , 4/24/08)

In 2000, Obama Voted To Temporarily Eliminate State Sales Tax On Gas, Which Helped Consumers:

Obama Voted To Suspend The State Sales Tax On Gasoline. (S.B. 1310: Senate Third Floor Reading, Passed,50-0-6, 3/8/00, Obama Voted Yea)

The State Of Illinois Suspended Its Five Percent Sales Tax On Gasoline. "After awhirlwind legislative session, Gov. Ryan signed legislation Thursday that suspends the state's 5 percent sales tax on gasoline. If that is passed on to consumers, fuel prices would drop by about a dime per gallon." (Dave McKinney and Fran Spielman,"Ryan Signs Suspension Of Gas Tax," Chicago Sun-Times , 6/30/00)

  • "[G]ov. George H. Ryan Signed Legislation Suspending Illinois' Five Percent Sales Tax On Gasoline For Six Months And Issued An Executive Order Creating State Monitoring Teams ..." (Chinta Strausberg, "Daley To Monitor Tax Relief At Pumps," Chicago Defender , 7/1/00)

Obama Said He Supported The Gas Tax Suspension Due To The "Huge Hike" In Gas Prices. Obama: "I originallyvoted for the suspension because I thought that it was extraordinary circumstances, given the huge hike in prices, but I don't think that we have the evidence yet to make this a permanent three-hundred- or four-hundred-dollar hole in the General Revenue Fund." (Sen. Barack Obama, State Of Illinois 91stGeneral Assembly Regular Session Senate Transcript, 11/15/00, www.ilga.gov , pp.51-52)

AAA Chicago Motor Club's Steve Nolan:"The Temporary Repeal Of The State Gas Tax Has Helped [With Gas PriceDrop]..." (Robert Manor, "IllinoisFinds Dramatic Relief At Gas Pump," Chicago Tribune , 8/17/00)

Obama Jokingly Wanted A Sign On Gas Pumps Acknowledging He Lowered His Constituents' Gas Prices:

Sen. Frank Watson (R-Greenville, IL): "This amendment [Amendment No. 3 to H.B. 3873] was discussed in the Executive Committee. We did not adopt it at the time, but it was kind of an agreement that this would be sent out to the Floor without any discussion - or,without going to committee. And it would require the State of Illinois and the Department of Agriculture to place on a - gasoline pumps the language that the State portion of the State tax on motor fuel and gasohol was eliminated by Public Act whatever, and that it was effective January 1st, 2001." (Sen. Frank Watson, State Of Illinois 91stGeneral Assembly Regular Session Senate Transcript, 4/15/00, www.ilga.gov , p. 80)

  • Obama: "I wasn't clear on - on the response to the question, but are - if the gas tax isn't going anywhere, what happens to this [amendment]?" (Sen. Barack Obama, State Of Illinois 91st General Assembly Regular Session Senate Transcript, 4/15/00, www.ilga.gov , p. 81)
  • Sen. Watson: "This is part of the gas tax language. This - this is part of the reduction of the sales tax on gasoline. So if the gas - if that passes, this is an amendment to it, and it would require that petroleum marketers have to put a sign on their pumps that this did, in fact happen." (Sen. Frank Watson, State Of Illinois 91st General Assembly Regular Session Senate Transcript, 4/15/00, www.ilga.gov , p. 81)
  • Obama: "I was wondering, can I - in my district, can I have 'Senator Obama reduced your gasoline prices'? Is that possible?" (Sen. Barack Obama, State Of Illinois 91st General Assembly Regular Session Senate Transcript, 4/15/00, www.ilga.gov , p. 81)

TODAY: Americans Are Feeling The Squeeze"As Gas Prices Hit All-Time High":

USA Today (JamesR. Healey, "Drivers Cut Back As Gas Prices Hit All-Time High," USA Today , 4/22/08)

The Associated Press (AdamSchreck, "With Gas Hitting Record Highs, Drivers Feeling Squeezed," The Associated Press , 4/22/08)

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) Has Proposed Immediate Gas Tax Relief For American Families, Saving Over $6 Billion:

Under Sen. John McCain's Plan, Families WouldSave 18.4 Cents On Every Gallon Of Gas. "Hard-working American families are suffering from higher gasoline prices. John McCain calls on Congress to suspend the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day." (John McCain For PresidentWebsite, www.johnmccain.com ,Accessed 4/22/08)

"A USA TODAY Analysis Showed That McCain's Gas-Tax Proposal Could Save Motorists $6.8 Billion In Taxes During The Summer." (Kathy Kiely, "Gas-Tax HolidayAmong McCain's Plans For Economy," USA Today , 4/16/08)

But Obama Has Rejected Gas Tax Relief, Calling It A "Bad Idea":

Obama Now Opposes A Gas Tax Holiday. "In a new policy split in the presidential campaign, Barack Obama opposed a federal gas-tax holiday supported by John McCain, the likely Republican nominee." (Nick Timiraos, "Obama, Clinton Split Over McCain Plan For Gas-Tax Holiday," TheWall Street Journal , 4/24/08)

Obama Called Gas Tax Relief A "Bad Idea." "Earlier Monday at acommunity college in the Philadelphia suburbs, Obama rejected a tax holiday as bad economic policy. 'I've said I think John McCain's proposal for a three-month tax holiday is a bad idea,'Obama said, warning consumers that any price cut would be short lived before costs spike back." (Nick Timiraos, "Clinton Joins McCain On Gas-Tax Holiday," The Wall Street Journal 's "WashingtonWire" Blog, blogs.wsj.com ,4/21/08)

  • Despite His Opposition, Obama Outlined Reasons Why American Families Need Gas Tax Relief. Obama: "Now I don't want to jack up the costs. I'm not going to impose an additional tax on gas because consumers just can't bear it right now. I meet too many families who unfortunately, because of some long-term decisions that we've made, they are driving 30-40 miles, they don't have a mass transit option that can get them to work. And so this is just money out of their pockets." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Town Hall Event, Blue Bell, PA, 4/21/08)

As Of April 24, 2008, The Average Price Of Regular Gasoline In New HampshireWas Over $3.44 Per Gallon. (AAA Website, www.fuelgaugereport.com ,Accessed 4/24/08)

Fergus Cullen

Chairman, New Hampshire Republican Party

10 Water Street

Concord , NH 03301