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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 BradyOvernight Finance: Senators near two-year budget deal | Trump would 'love to see a shutdown' over immigration | Dow closes nearly 600 points higher after volatile day | Trade deficit at highest level since 2008 | Pawlenty leaving Wall Street group Lawmakers discuss extending expired tax breaks in spending bill Dow falls more than 1,000 in biggest daily point-drop ever 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 LewOvernight 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 Ex-Obama Treasury secretary: Tax cuts 'leaving us broke' Senator demands answers from DOJ on Russia bribery probe 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 RyanMcConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Overnight Defense: Latest on spending fight - House passes stopgap with defense money while Senate nears two-year budget deal | Pentagon planning military parade for Trump | Afghan war will cost B in 2018 House passes stopgap spending measure with defense money 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.