(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden preemptively defended a potential suspension of the federal gasoline tax, saying it wouldn’t hurt road-building projects -- the latest signal he’s leaning toward urging Congress to pause the levy to try to ease high pump prices.

Biden, speaking to reporters Tuesday at the White House, rebutted an oft-cited concern that suspending the 18.4 cents-per-gallon tax would halt a key revenue source for maintaining roads. 

“We have a giant infrastructure bill we passed -- giant,” Biden said. “It’s not like before. Look, it will have some impact but it’s not going to have an impact on major road construction and major repairs.”

Asked if he’d already made a decision, he replied: “I’m in the process. I’ll have a decision before the week is out.”

Biden said Monday he was awaiting data as he weighs whether to call for a temporary suspension of the levy, with fuel prices hovering around $5 a gallon heading into summer, and inflation -- at a four-decade high -- looming as a political liability for Democrats in the November midterms. 

It would be up to Congress to enact a gasoline tax pause, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday. 

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Opponents of suspending the tax say it would risk siphoning money from the Federal Highway Trust Fund that pays for road and transit systems. Biden is suggesting that funding from the infrastructure law passed last year, which included $550 billion in total new funding, could fill the gap.  

“Is it going to, in fact, make it difficult to maintain our roads? The answer is we have plenty of capacity to do that,” he said. 

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday on ABC’s This Week that a temporary suspension is “worth considering.”

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