WASHINGTON (AP) – Democratic leaders have announced an effort to give the Federal Trade Commission increased authority to crack down on oil and gas companies that engage in price gouging.

The lawmakers said Thursday that the FTC needs more tools, including fines and penalties and a team of dedicated experts to monitor markets and go after price gouging.

With voters concerned about the growing toll of inflation, Democrats are signaling their intention to place much of the blame for high gas prices on oil companies.

Republicans were dismissive of the Democratic proposal, saying that Americans know that high prices don’t stem from price gouging or the war in Ukraine.