A new must watch clip from WBZ’s Jon Keller looks at Senator Maggie Hassan’s push for “a temporary pause in federal gas taxes that her own party’s leaders oppose.”
In the segment, Keller notes that suspending the gas tax is backed by 70 percent of voters, would offer immediate relief — and is opposed by all of Senator Hassan’s Republican opponents. In fact, Keller notes, the New Hampshire Republicans running against Senator Hassan have been sounding more like “Beacon Hill Democrats” than independent leaders willing to cut costs for Granite Staters.
Keller concludes the segment with a warning for Hassan’s opponents: “with polling showing 70 percent support for the [gas tax holiday]” politicians “dismissing the gas tax holiday are going to start feeling the heat.”
Watch the clip:
Anchor: In her New Hampshire reelection campaign Democratic US Senator Maggie Hassan is breaking with her party’s leadership by pushing for a federal gas tax holiday. And she’s not alone. WBZ political analyst Jon Keller takes a closer look at a pocketbook issue that’s taking a toll on partisan unity.
Jon Keller: It’s a sign of the times, New Hampshire Democrat Maggie Hassan facing a reelection fight and embracing a temporary pause in federal gas taxes that her own party’s leaders oppose.
Senator Maggie Hassan: I’m taking on members of my own party to push a gas tax holiday and I’m pushing Joe Biden to release more of our oil reserves.
Keller: But while Bacon Hill Democrats nixed the Republican push for a gas tax holiday back in March —
MA State Senator Barry Finegold: Nothing is ever dead on Beacon Hill, things have a life of their own.
Keller: Democrats who backed it then tell WBZ they expect it to come up again soon.
MA State Senator Anne Gobe: A lot of people in my area, we don’t have public transportation, we have towns that don’t have it all. That they rely on their vehicles to get everywhere to do everything.
Sen. Finegold: When people go to the pump right now they’re feeling a lot of pain and I do think we should try and do everything we can to help out people in Massachusetts.
Keller: Neighboring blues states like Connecticut and New York have suspended gas taxes without damaging their bond ratings — which opponents of a moratorium claimed would happen. And Hassan’s Republican challengers have dismissed her bill as a gimmick — the same rhetoric deployed by Democratic leaders here. But with prices soaring amid rampant inflation, Senator Gobe says that dog won’t hunt.
Sen. Gobe: I don’t think that’s a gimmick at all when we’re trying to save folks a few pennies here and there.
Anchor: As gas prices stay high, the highest ever here, is it politically risky for politicians who oppose a tax break?
Keller: Well I would say the polling that shows 70 percent support for the break has got to give most of them pause. It’s hard to believe that there are many voters who aren’t unhappy about gas prices and they are reminded by their displeasure every time they fill up. And with the summer traveling season at hand I bet a lot of legislators who’ve been dismissing the gas tax ad’s holiday are going to start feeling the heat.
Anchor: They might revisit that idea.