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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to President Bush’s remarks today at a Rose Garden press conference and Republican legislation to be considered in the House later this week on high gas prices:
“The President and Republicans in Washington are offering no real leadership in combating the high gas prices that are hitting Americans hard.
“Today the President simply repeated his one-sided solution to build more refineries, while the House Republicans are preparing to consider the misnamed ‘Gasoline for America’s Security Act’ this week, which will do nothing to lower gasoline and other fuel prices, and misses the real lessons to be learned in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
“Democrats believe that we can do more for the American people who are struggling to deal with high gas prices and bracing for record high home heating bills this winter. We have offered legislation that would actually do something about the rise in gasoline prices and the projected increases in home heating prices this winter, as well as the critical homeland security issues related to a lack of refining capacity identified in the wake of the recent hurricanes.
“In their bill, Republicans offer a weak response to price increases that targets the wrong people – small gas station owners. A recent analysis of price increases at the pump show that gas stations increased their profit margins by less than one cent per gallon or less than a 5 percent increase. Democrats would investigate price gouging in the entire industry and address price increases at the refinery level, where gasoline prices have increased by 71 cents, or 255 percent.
“Republicans defeated our legislation in committee but Democrats will continue to push it forward this week in the House and pressure Republicans to take real action on gas prices.”