Club for Growth launches ad targeting GOP tax writer

Greg Nash

The conservative Club for Growth is launching an ad campaign that urges a Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee to oppose a proposal to tax imports and exempt exports.

The ad, targeting Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), comes as lobbying on the border-adjustment proposal has been escalating, with businesses on both sides of the debate seeking to sway GOP lawmakers.

The Club’s ad is titled “Price is Wrong” and is a parody of the game show “The Price is Right.” It argues that the border-adjustment tax would increase consumer prices for middle-class families by $1,700 and result in families paying more for gas, groceries, clothing and medicine.

TV stations in South Dakota began running the ad on Wednesday. The Club for Growth said it expects to air a series of ads on the border-adjustment tax in 10 states and districts.

“The border adjustment tax will drive up prices on everyday consumer goods like groceries, gas, clothes and shoes,” said Club for Growth President David McIntosh. “House Republicans have offered good tax reform proposals, like lowering rates, repealing the death tax, and cleaning up the tax code, but the border adjustment tax will hurt American families.”

The ad states that Noem hasn’t taken a stance on the tax, but she appeared to be supportive of it in a Fox News interview earlier this month. 

“All of our competitors have this kind of a tax,” she said. “When we stay back in the ancient plan and the way that we run our tax system today, it makes our companies, it makes America uncompetitive. We’re double taxing things that are made in America, and that’s not fair.”

The border-adjustment tax is a key part of the tax-reform blueprint that House Republicans released last year and are using as a starting point for legislation. Border adjustability would raise more than $1 trillion in revenue that could be used to help pay for tax cuts.

GOP leaders on the Ways and Means Committee have been pushing their case for the border-adjustment tax, arguing that it would eliminate reasons for companies to move their jobs and headquarters overseas.

Some businesses also support the proposal. On Tuesday, the CEOs of 16 companies told congressional leaders that it “is consistent with the tax policies of nearly every other country in the world, and it would effectively end the ‘Made in America’ tax that creates an unfair advantage for foreign-based companies at the expense of U.S. jobs and economic growth.”

But the opposition to the tax from GOP lawmakers and outside groups has also been increasing. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) predicted over the weekend that the House Republicans’ tax plan wouldn’t even get 10 votes in the Senate.

Americans for Affordable Products, a coalition of retailers and trade associations opposed to the proposal, is holding a roundtable with business leaders on Thursday in Ohio that Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) is expected to attend. The group is also holding a press event in South Carolina on Thursday where business leaders will urge lawmakers from the state to oppose the tax.

Renacci is one of several Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee that have expressed concerns about the tax. He told Politico last week that he was worried the proposal would pick winners and losers, adding that he wants the Ways and Means Committee to hold hearings on the topic.

Renacci said in a statement Wednesday that he wants to hear from stakeholders on tax reform.

“This should not be a tax code built by politicians and policy experts in Washington, DC,” he said. “Rather, we must truly listen to the American people to ensure we advance tax reform that encourages job growth and opportunity for all Americans.”  

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