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 chairman: More tax-reform hearings coming in July Overnight Finance: CBO finds 22M more uninsured under Senate health bill | GOP agrees ObamaCare taxes must go | Supreme Court to look at Dodd-Frank whistleblower protections | More tax reform hearings | Green light for partial travel ban | Highway Trust Fund in need of a long-term fix 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 LewEU slaps Google with record .7B antitrust fine for skewing search results White House divide may derail needed China trade reform 3 unconventional ways Trump can tackle the national debt 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 BoustanyDemocrats, Republicans must work together to advance health care Lobbying World Former GOP rep joins K Street lobbying firm Capitol Counsel 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 RyanNordic-Baltic parliaments underpin strong transatlantic relations Ryan defends CBO director amid backlash on Senate healthcare bill score Ryan attacks cable news in op-ed 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.