Obama Cracks Down On Oil Market
Obama asked lawmakers to raise civil and criminal penalties on individuals and companies who manipulate the market, drawing a link to the rising gas prices across the country, said the LA Times.
"We can't afford a situation where some speculators can reap millions while millions of American families get the short end of the stick," said Obama.
Civil penalties for firms involved in market manipulation would increase from $1 million to $10 million, said Reuters. Obama also asked for increased maximum criminal penalties.
According to the NY Times, the proposal is unlikely to pass due to a $52 million price tag to increase surveillance and enforcement staff at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Republicans are seeking to reign in federal spending, including cuts to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Some Republicans have spoken out against the proposals, calling them "election year window dressing." They instead blame soaring gas prices on government regulations that suppress domestic oil development, said USA Today.
"[Obama's plan] probably polls pretty well," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell "but I guarantee you it won't do a thing to lower the price of gas at the pump. It never has in the past."