U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, released the following statement on President Bush's announcement that stimulus checks would be delivered to American families a week ahead of schedule:
 
"It’s galling to think that taxpayers' stimulus checks will be lining the pockets of OPEC. The sad truth is that the average American family will spend almost their entire stimulus check on higher gas prices this year.  Unless the administration gets OPEC to increase oil supply, Americans consumers are going to be in for a scorching summer of $4 gasoline with no relief in sight."
 
The Joint Economic Committee estimates that the average family of four (with 2 kids and 2 cars) will spend an additional $1,400 for gasoline this year because of skyrocketing gas prices since President Bush took office in 2001.  The conservative calculations by the JEC assume the average family decreased their driving 10 percent because of 100 percent higher gasoline prices AND the calculations are inflation-adjusted.  The average family of four should get a total economic stimulus check for $1,800. 
 
 Yesterday, Schumer was joined by a group of Senators in sending a Letter to the White House urging them to pressure OPEC to increase oil supply or risk the Senators blocking multi-million dollar arms deals to some OPEC nations.