12 PM ET: Gas tax holiday downsides, Powell on inflation, US tackles tobacco & more – CNN 5 Things

12 PM ET: Gas tax holiday downsides, Powell on inflation, US tackles tobacco & more
CNN 5 Things
Jun 22, 2022

Amid high US gas prices, President Joe Biden is expected to ask Congress to approve a three-month gas tax holiday – we’ll tell you what that could mean for you and why it might cause more harm than good. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is testifying before a Senate Committee today on inflation. Afghanistan was hit by a deadly earthquake – we’ll tell you what other regions saw devastation today too. Brooklyn Center, Minnesota will pay a settlement to the family of a Black man who was shot and killed by a former police officer. Plus, the Biden administration is planning on taking on Big Tobacco.

Krista Bobrowski (host)


Hi there from CNN. I’m Krista Bo with the five things you need to know for Wednesday, June 22nd.

You probably don’t need me to tell you gas prices are high in the U.S. — well, temporary relief to the pain at the pump might be coming soon. President Joe Biden will call on Congress today to approve a three month gas tax holiday. That means he wants to suspend federal gas and diesel taxes until the end of September. That’s according to senior administration officials. The current federal tax on gas is about 18 cents per gallon, while diesel’s is 24 cents. You could save money, but the savings for one fill-up may only be a few dollars. Republicans widely oppose lifting the gas tax. Some Democrats and economists are against going that route, too. CNN’s Matt Egan explains some downsides to a gas tax holiday.

Matt Egan (correspondent)


One, this doesn’t really do anything to address the supply problem. Two, it actually supports demand at a time when demand can’t keep up with supply. It would also sap federal funding for repairing and building highways.

Jerome Powell (soundbite)


The American economy is very strong and well-positioned to handle tighter monetary policy.

Krista Bobrowski (host)


That was Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifying before a Senate committee today. He’s talking about how the Fed is fighting inflation, which is partly by raising interest rates. Powell said officials plan to continue to raise interest rates to get inflation under control. The Fed’s rate hike last week was its biggest since 1994. He said last week the Fed is looking at a similar hike come July. If the Fed raises rates too high and too aggressively to slow the economy down, it could spark a recession that drives up unemployment. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren urged Powell to proceed with caution.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (soundbite)


Right now, the Fed has no control over the main drivers of rising prices. But the Fed can slow demand by getting a lot of people fired and making families poorer.

Krista Bobrowski (host)


Afghanistan was hit by its deadliest earthquake in decades early this morning, killing more than a thousand people and wounding many more. That’s according to a regional official. The earthquake had a magnitude of 5.9 and comes at a tough time for the country, which is already in the middle of an economic and humanitarian crisis. CNN’s Vedika Sud said the biggest impact has been to regions along the border with Pakistan.

Vedika Sud (correspondent)


Most of the homes in this region are made of mud. Now the Indian monsoon has already impacted these homes, weakened them. And when the earthquake hit, it really reduced them to rubble.

Krista Bobrowski (host)


The heavy rains that made Afghan homes unstable have also battered India and Bangladesh. Floods and landslides there have left more than 100 people dead. It’s caused some of the region’s worst flooding in years as the climate crisis makes extreme weather more common.

Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, has agreed to pay more than $3 million to the family of Daunte Wright. Wright was killed by police in the Minneapolis suburb during a traffic stop last year. It’s part of a settlement deal with the city agreeing to make changes to its police training and policies. That’s according to lawyers for the Wright family. Authorities said Wright, a Black man, was pulled over for an expired tag and illegal air freshener. After police attempted to arrest Wright for an outstanding warrant, he tried to drive off. Former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter shot and killed Wright, saying she mistook her gun for a taser. She was sentenced to two years in prison for manslaughter earlier this year. CNN has reached out to the city for comment on the settlement.

Up next, the Biden administration is planning to do something no other has done before.

Hey, welcome back. The Biden administration is planning to cap nicotine levels in cigarets and certain tobacco products. It’s an unprecedented move and health experts say it would be transformative if it’s put in place. Nicotine is highly addictive. And the government’s plan would essentially lower the amount of it that’s available in some U.S. products. The FDA estimates that doing so could prevent more than 33 million people from becoming regular smokers, and about 5 million additional smokers would quit within a year. But this won’t happen overnight. There’s some hurdles for the FDA to pass that could take several months.

All right, that’s all for now. I’m Krista Bo. And did you know CNN 5 Things is also available in Spanish? Listen to CNN Cinco Cosas for the five stories you need to hear from our colleagues at CNN en Español. Until next time.

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