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Democrat pitches $500 checks to offset high gas prices

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — A Democratic congressman from Illinois has pitched giving a $500 check to Americans to offset high gas prices.

“It’s fully paid for,” Rep. Sean Casten, D-Ill., said.

He said the money would come from taking away some of the record profits in the fossil fuel industry by repealing billions in tax subsidies.

“My goodness, let’s take some of that back and give it back to the American people because (oil companies are) not using it to drill, they’re using it to pay out dividends to their shareholders,” Casten said.

He said his plan would provide short-term relief and a long-term fix to help Americans transition away from oil dependency.

“Maybe we’ll get beyond that crazy man in Moscow, but then it’ll be a crazy man in Saudi Arabia or Venezuela,” he said. “The way we get off that roller coaster moving forward is to stop subsidizing the fossil fuel sector.”

Republicans are not on board.

“They’re trying to shut down oil and gas production,” Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said of Democrats.

He said if they want to bring down gas prices, they should be helping the oil industry. Republicans have called on the Biden administration to reverse the pause on new oil drilling on federal lands, something the administration will start doing in part next month.

“Oil and gas is in everything. It’s in the production of food, the production of housing,” Scott said. “(Democrats) want to take your money and go give more money out instead of solving the problem. We know what we have to do: become energy independent. Prices will come down.”

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