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 BradyTax reform an important part of pro-consumer energy policy GOP torn over what to do next Republicans vote to block resolutions on Trump's tax returns 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 Lew3 unconventional ways Trump can tackle the national debt One year later, the Iran nuclear deal is a success by any measure Chinese President Xi says a trade war hurts the US and China 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 BoustanyLobbying World Former GOP rep joins K Street lobbying firm Capitol Counsel Yoga lobby fighting certification for teachers 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 RyanOvernight Healthcare: Ryan says key ObamaCare payments will continue during House lawsuit White House invites House Intel Dem to view documents Tea Party leader ‘disgusted’ by Trump’s attack on Freedom Caucus 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.