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Gas Tax Holiday Might Extend Beyond The Summer, McCain Says

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GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — John McCain said Thursday that his proposal to suspend the gas tax for three months this summer may need to be extended longer if high gas prices continue to take a toll on the economy.

"I think we ought to seriously look at whether we need to have it be longer or not depending on what the economy (does)," McCain said, standing beside the Grand River.

"I think we have to consider all options but the fact is we need a gas tax holiday. We need it, we need it, we need it very badly. The Americans that are hurt the most are low income Americans that are driving the oldest automobiles," he said.

McCain suggested the longer gas tax holiday the day before his visit Friday to a General Motors plant in Michigan, and a town hall meeting with auto workers. The auto industry was already reeling from its own problems when it was rocked again by gas costing $4 a gallon and more, and the state of Michigan's fortunes are tied to the auto industry.

The economy is the main worry of voters, and McCain has been telling crowds he can put the country on a firmer financial footing through low taxes and an emphasis on developing new energy technologies.

As the price of gas soared in the spring, McCain proposed a three-month holiday from the federal gas tax, 18.4 cents a gallon. Obama has derided the idea as a political gimmick that would provide consumers little real relief, ignore the country's energy problems by perpetuating U.S. dependence on foreign oil and take money from road and bridge repairs.