Brady tells Lew oil fee stands no chance in Congress

Brady tells Lew oil fee stands no chance in Congress
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House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin BradyGOP planning to release tax framework next month: reports Tax reform done right is key to boosting America’s economy GOP group launches TV ad campaign for tax reform MORE (R-Texas) on Thursday told a top Obama administration official not to bother trying to sell Congress on a proposed oil-barrel fee.

“Don’t spend too much time on it, it is going nowhere fast,” Brady told Treasury Secretary Jack LewJack LewTop conservative rails against ‘clean’ debt limit increase Trump mocked Obama for three chiefs of staff in three years Mnuchin wants ‘clean debt-ceiling’ bill MORE on Thursday.

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Lew told the Ways and Means Committee that he is prepared to work with Congress on how to move forward on the $10.25 per barrel tax proposed in President Obama's fiscal 2017 budget that would raise money to fund infrastructure projects. 

With the price of oil dropping, Lew said "this is the perfect time to have a conversation like this."

Lew said that the fee would be phased in at $2 a year per barrel over five years.

Brady called the plan "absurd," saying that the fee would have "ripple effects across the economy, spiraling into an effectively regressive tax on consumer goods and services, which would hit Americans with fixed incomes the hardest, especially our senior citizens."

“The good news is that the American people do not have to worry about this horrible idea," Brady said.

"I feel confident that I can speak for the 24 Republican members of our committee when I say that this tax proposal is dead on arrival."

Rep. Charles BoustanyCharles BoustanyControversial House Republican gains national attention after filming Auschwitz video Democrats, Republicans must work together to advance health care Lobbying World MORE (R-La.) said he "condemned" the oil tax as "the wrong diagnosis and the wrong prescription."

"It will make us less competitive and the consumer will pay the price at the end of the day," Boustany told Lew.

But the Republican-controlled Congress rejected the proposal even before the president's budget blueprint hit Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

On Feb. 4, Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanJuan Williams: Trump ought to thank Obama Democrats see ObamaCare leverage in spending fights Ryan: 'White supremacy is a scourge' MORE (R-Wis.) said the fee shows that "once again, the president expects hardworking consumers to pay for his out of touch climate agenda."

"A $10 tax for every barrel of oil produced would raise energy prices — hurting poor Americans the most," Ryan said in a statement.

Prices fell below $27 for a barrel of oil on Thursday. The slump is reverberating worldwide, weighing on the U.S. and other leading global economies.

The drop has pushed down gas prices to $1.80 per gallon, the lowest level in the United States since January 2009, which is when Obama took office.