Democrats hammer House GOP over national sales tax proposal

Rep. Buddy Carter R-Ga., walks from a closed-door meeting with the GOP Conference during the opening day of the 118th Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan 3, 2023. Carolyn Kaster/G3 Box News

Democrats hammer House GOP over national sales tax proposal

Samantha-Jo Roth

January 18, 06:57 PM January 18, 06:58 PM

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Democrats are slamming a deal House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reportedly made with conservative hard-liners to vote on a bill that would eliminate the tax code and replace income taxes with a 30% national sales tax.

McCarthy agreed to give Rep. Buddy Carter’s (R-GA) Fair Tax Act a first-ever floor vote as part of negotiations to become House speaker. The bill would abolish the IRS and eliminate national income, payroll, estate, and corporate taxes in exchange for a 30% national sales tax. Additionally, the legislation would send out “prebate” checks to help low-income families.


The idea to replace the IRS code with a sales tax was discussed on conservative radio in the ’90s and continues to be floated today, but it has never received a vote in either chamber.

President Joe Biden attacked the proposal during a speech on Monday. “National sales tax, that’s a great idea. It would raise taxes on the middle class by taxing thousands of everyday items, from groceries to gas, while cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans,” he said.

Biden drew a line in the sand on the legislation. “Well, let me be clear: If any of those bills make it to my desk, I will veto them. I will flat veto them,” he said.

A growing number of Democrats are wielding the proposal as a political cudgel. In a tweet, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), the chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, claimed, “The plan slashes taxes for the richest Americans and puts that burden onto poor and working class families.”

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) also criticized the House speaker’s deal, calling McCarthy corrupt. “They repeal taxes on billionaires while you pay 30% more for gas, food and so much more,” he tweeted.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) repeatedly hammered Republicans for the plan on Wednesday, writing on Twitter, “Inflation falling fast. Feels like the right time for Republicans to push a new national 30% sales tax.”

Eleven co-signers signed on to the bill, including Reps. Kat Cammack (R-FL), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Bob Good (R-VA), Andrew Clyde (R-GA), and Scott Perry (R-PA), chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

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Supporters of the legislation claim it is a better system because it doesn’t punish those making more money.

“If you don’t want to pay a tax, don’t buy it. It’s as simple as that,” Carter told Semafor.

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