President George W. Bush is blaming the Democratic-led Congress for the high cost of gasoline.

Bush says the Democrats have been blocking Republican calls for more extensive drilling for off-shore oil.

Congress recessed in August without a solution to high fuel prices.

In a bid to force a vote on offshore drilling, Republicans blocked Democratic proposals that would have drawn on the U.S. petroleum reserve, curbed oil speculation and required oil companies to drill on already leased federal lands.

The president, who is vacationing at his Texas ranch, said Americans support expanded exploration for oil in areas that include the Outer Continental Shelf.

Currently, new oil drilling is only allowed in federal waters in the western Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska.