Sen. Angus King skeptical about gas tax suspension, says gun legislation will save lives

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 4:08 PM EDT
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MAINE (WABI) - Maine’s two senators are part of a bipartisan group of Senators who negotiated gun safety legislation that’s now making its way through the Senate.

Senator Angus King says the biggest win with this legislation is that it’s happening at all.

He says he sees the regulation of gun trafficking and straw purchases as an extremely important piece of the proposal that will cut back on illegal gun purchases.

King says the mental health portion will address what he calls a real crisis in this country and in Maine by providing counseling and support to young people.

He says he wishes the bill included a higher age limit to purchase assault weapons, but understands it’s certainly a compromise.

”It’s not everything that everybody wanted, but most of the groups that have been working on this issue believe that this is a really a real step forward. This is a tough issue, and it’s a highly politicized issue. I don’t have to talk about the power of the lobby involved here, but, the fact that we’ve gotten what we’ve got and that it is substantive is, that’s the important news,” King said.

King says at the end of the day, this bill is a step in the right direction and will undoubtedly save lives.

He also shared his thoughts on the president’s proposal to temporarily suspend the gas tax.

He says he commends the president for taking a bold step and addressing the issue, but he’s concerned about the impact it could have on our roads if the tax goes away.

King says he fears the reduction will be gobbled up by the oil companies and is only a temporary solution that will creep back up over time.

”I’m skeptical about this solution. The better solution is to work with the oil and particularly the refining companies. That’s where the problem seems to be the spread between the price of a barrel of oil, and the price of a gallon of gasoline has, I don’t think, ever been higher,” King said.

King says working with oil companies to increase production and supply could be a more lasting solution.

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