Democrats hit GOP on soaring gas prices

Democrats used their weekly radio address Saturday to hammer the Bush administration and congressional Republicans on the skyrocketing gas prices while touting their plan to repeal billions of dollars in tax breaks for oil companies.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) was picked to deliver the message to American households as Democrats and Republicans are continuing to seek to blame each other for the cost at the pump, an issue that will undoubtedly play a large role in the fall election.

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When President Bush took office in 2001, Stabenow said, gas cost $1.50 a gallon, a price which has shot up to more than $3.70 for regular gas and $4 for premium in her home state.

She called the record prices all over the country “a crisis for every American family” that has led to higher grocery prices, home-heating bills, and financial pressure for small businesses struggling to stay afloat.

“Enough is enough,” Stabenow said.

Congressional Democrats’ energy package, unveiled earlier this week, would repeal billions of dollars in tax breaks for oil companies, force them to invest some of their profits in renewable energy or pay a price for refusing to do so, attempt to rein in OPEC manipulations of the market and increase the nation’s oil supply by temporarily halting deposits to the federal Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

“Republicans want more drilling, more consumption, and more tax giveaways for the big oil companies,” Stabenow said. “Democrats say that those are exactly the policies that got us into this mess to begin with.”

She ended the address by calling on voters to call their members of Congress and tell them they’re fed up with record gas prices.

Republicans argue that the Democrats' plan is clearly ill-conceived.

“The Democrats clearly don’t understand the economy and the devastating burden that their proposed tax increases would impose on families and businesses across America,” said Republican National Committee spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson.

Meantime, Bush did not use his weekly radio address to tackle major political issues and instead dedicated it to his daughter Jenna’s wedding day and Mother’s Day on Sunday.

“This is a joyous occasion for our family, as we celebrate the happy life ahead of her and her husband Henry,” Bush, he flew to Crawford for the ceremony, said. “It's also a special time for Laura, who this Mother's Day weekend will watch a young woman we raised together walk down the aisle.”

He singled out mothers of soldiers for a special word of thanks.

“Your sons and daughters are defending our freedom with dignity and honor,” he said. “And America appreciates the sacrifices that your families make in the name of duty.”