A powerful Texas congressman is pushing for a new tax that a conservative watchdog group decries as a “middle-class consumer tax to take the place of high corporate taxes.”

Kevin Brady

U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-The Woodlands) is supporting a “border adjustment tax” as part of a GOP plan to reform federal tax policy.

“The main goal of our tax reform blueprint is to improve the lives of all Texans and people across America,” said Brady, who chairs the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. “That’s why we are working to ensure that our tax code no longer favors Chinese steel over American steel, Mexican beef and autos over American beef and autos, and foreign oil over American oil. One of the best ways to protect the American dream is to tax imports and exports equally in our country. It’s time to end the ‘Made in America’ export tax.”

The Trump Administration has intimated that they will penalize foreign-made goods with higher tariffs. The BAT has been criticized by President Donald Trump as being too complicated.

While the House tax plan is revenue neutral, the BAT has drawn the ire of the Club for Growth, a conservative watchdog group that favors limited government and reduced tax burdens.

“Pro-growth tax reform is not creating a new middle-class consumer tax to take the place of high corporate tax rates,” said the organization’s president, David McIntosh, a former congressman.

“There is no budget rule that requires Congress to raise one tax when it cuts another,” added McIntosh. “House Republicans are already threatening to sacrifice pro-growth tax reform on the canard of revenue neutrality. Instead of trading one tax for another, the GOP needs to focus on cutting rates, and cutting spending and the size of government to match.”

Besides the Club for Growth, the BAT proposal is also opposed by a coalition of consumer and industry groups. Many energy industry observers oppose the plan, saying it will raise, for example, the price of imported crude oil refined in the US.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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