Different forms of law, “Fair Tax Act,” has been around for decades and has barely caught the attention of Republican leaders. But a spokesperson for Rep. Andrew Clyde The Georgia native, one of 21 GOP holdouts who initially blocked McCarthy’s speakership bid and is a co-sponsor of the legislation, said McCarthy promised the legislation would go through the committee process.
Forcing debate on an unpopular tax puts the GOP in a political bind. McCarthy must walk a tightrope between appeasing disaffected sections of his caucus and distancing the party from policy proposals that could hurt Republicans at the ballot box.
The newly anointed chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.), said he is committed to holding a committee hearing on the legislation where members can have an open and frank debate.
Supporters of the law argue that it would create a fairer, more transparent tax system. It would eliminate federal income, payroll and estate taxes and replace them with a 23 percent — or 30 percent, depending on how you calculate it — national sales tax.
But many Republican members of Ways and Means have so far viewed the legislation as illogical.
“I have no comment yet,” the rep said. Carol Miller (RW.Va.) when asked about the bill.
“I’ll put it on hold for now,” the rep said. Randy Feenstra Iowa is one of 10 new GOP members joining the caucus this Congress.
Others were even more blatant.
“Never going to vote for that,” said the representative. David Schweigert (R-Ariz.), the committee’s policy that offered his view of how the FairTax is technically flawed. Schweigert said a more effective version of the idea would involve taxing goods at each point.
Realizing the law’s political danger, longtime tax critics, from The Wall Street Journal editorial board to Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, have launched their own attacks against the law.
“Despite the insistence of Democrats like Chuck Schumer and President Biden, a fair tax is not happening and will not sustain the conventional order,” ADR said in an email blast. “In fact, House co-sponsorship of the Fair Tax Act is the lowest it has been in 20 years. Support has been declining over the past decade, falling by two-thirds since 2013.
But the law’s chief sponsor, Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.), issued his own broad opinion refuting what he called the “myths” surrounding the bill.
A national sales tax would hit low-income earners and retirees hardest, while the wealthy would disproportionately benefit — Carter’s release said: “The FairTax is the only progressive tax reform bill currently pending in Congress.”
“Each family will receive a monthly prepayment based on federal poverty levels and household size, which will allow families to purchase essential items such as food, shelter and medicine, essentially tax-free. This is similar to our current system of personal exemptions and refundable tax credits.
Democrats waste no time debating fine points.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem JeffreysAt a press conference Wednesday, the legislation was portrayed as part of a radical Republican agenda targeting Social Security and other entitlement benefits.
“I believe if we impose it, it will cause the next Great Recession. Thank God Chairman Jeffries and the Democrats in the House have firewalls. Schumer said of the national sales tax, the tax would cost a family $125,000, a car $10,000, and the average grocery bill $3,500 a year. Data shows that raising
The hearing on the FairTax bill will not be unprecedented. The Ways and Means Committee held one in 2011 when former Republican Rep. Dave Camp chaired the committee. After that it mostly disappeared from view.
Camp, now at PwC, cited some pressing questions he thinks the law will raise.
“Will it replenish revenue? Is it regressive? What will happen to the state income tax? he said in an interview this week.