The Obama administration lost its bid to get the Buffett Rule (which would have increased taxes for those earning $1 million or more) passed, so on Tuesday it shifted focus to another battle: Slowing the rise in oil prices.
U.S. President Barack Obama's proposed solution to painfully high prices is to limit speculation in oil markets.
The new bids that the president proposed seek more money ($52 million) for market enforcement and monitoring activities, call for loftier penalties for market manipulation, and require oil traders to put up more of their own cash for transactions.
At a White House press conference Tuesday President Obama said, "None of these will bring gas prices down overnight. But they will prevent market manipulation, and help protect consumers."
The move is in stark contrast with Republicans, who have been lobbying for more domestic drilling to help alleviate the near record-high gas prices. Paying more at the pump takes a bite out of consumer spending and has the potential to stall the slow-going economic recovery.
The maneuver, however, may be focused more on political strategy than consumer interest.
It is extremely doubtful that House Republicans will pass any measure that aims to implement more limits on Wall Street while the GOP looks to reduce regulation of the financial sector.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-OH, called it a political ploy and disparaged President Obama for not using the means already at his disposal to deal with the oil situation.
"The president has all the tools available to him if he believed that the oil market is being manipulated," Boehner said. "Where's his Federal Trade Commission? Where is the SEC? He's got agencies there. So instead of just another political gimmick, why doesn't he put his administration to work to get to the bottom of it?"