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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 Patrick BradySome doubt McCarthy or Scalise will ever lead House GOP House passes series of bills to improve IRS The Hill's Morning Report: Hannity drawn into Cohen legal fight 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 LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewTreasury pushes back on travel criticism with data on Obama-era costs Big tech lobbying groups push Treasury to speak out on EU tax proposal Overnight Finance: Hatch announces retirement from Senate | What you can expect from new tax code | Five ways finance laws could change in 2018 | Peter Thiel bets big on bitcoin 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 William BoustanyDems face hard choice for State of the Union response Americans worried about retirement should look to employee ownership Top Lobbyists 2017: Hired Guns 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 Davis RyanA warning to Ryan’s successor: The Speakership is no cakewalk Republicans divided over legislation protecting Mueller The Hill's 12:30 Report 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.