Posted by on January 25, 2023 2:47 pm
Categories: News Washington Examiner

McCarthy knocks bill to abolish IRS he promised GOP rebels a hearing on

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks during a news conference in Statuary Hall at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) Jose Luis Magana/AP

McCarthy knocks bill to abolish IRS he promised GOP rebels a hearing on

Ryan King January 25, 02:06 PMJanuary 25, 02:06 PM Video Embed

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) disavowed a national sales tax measure called the Fair Tax Act that he promised Republicans rebels his Congress would hold a hearing on.

Under the proposal, Congress would abolish the IRS and replace the federal income tax with a national 30% sales tax. McCarthy guaranteed that the measure would receive a hearing, but that may not necessarily mean it will get a vote on the House floor, Axios reported. A growing chorus of Republicans voiced unease at the legislation.


“No,” McCarthy replied tersely when asked if he backed the measure Tuesday.

Democrats have harped on reports that McCarthy pledged consideration for the Fair Tax Act, with President Joe Biden reportedly set to give an economic-centric speech lambasting it. Under the Inflation Reduction Act, passed last year, the Biden administration got congressional approval to bolster the IRS in a bid to generate more revenue.

Although Republicans have repudiated IRS expansion, a slew of congressmen, including New York Republican Reps. Marc Molinaro, Nick LaLota, and Mike Lawler have also vowed to oppose the legislation. McCarthy reportedly gave the commitment to Republican holdouts while jockeying for the speaker’s gavel amid roughly 20 House Republican defections.

Similar proposals to the Fair Tax Act have floated the political beltway for decades. Critics argue that the measure would be regressive because it is likely to exact a higher burden on lower-income earners who typically dedicate a higher proportion of their income to financing their needs than those higher up the income ladder.

McCarthy cut deals and clinched the speakership after 15 votes, the most needed since the 1800s. Some reports indicated that McCarthy committed to a floor vote on the Fair Tax Act, but one of his negotiators, Rep. French Hill (R-AK), underscored that proposals must face committee procedures before going to the floor, in an interview with Axios.


“Any legislative proposal by any member would have to go through committee in regular order, have hearings, be marked up, and be subject to amendment,” Hill stressed.

McCarthy’s remarks come amid a showdown with Biden over the debt limit, which was reached last week. Should Congress decline to raise the limit, the federal government will have to prioritize spending due to its inability to borrow. Eventually, this could risk defaulting on the national debt, which would be unprecedented and risk wreaking havoc on the economy.

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