House Republican leadership is pushing back on an attempt to abolish the tax code.
Both Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., have said they do not support the Fair Tax Act, which would constitute the largest change to the U.S. system in decades, The Hill reported.
Introduced by Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga., the bill would eliminate all income taxes, payroll taxes, estate taxes, and gift taxes. Instead, a 30% sales tax would be collected by states and then remitted to the federal Treasury.
The Fair Tax Act received much attention earlier this month when McCarthy, who at the time was trying to gather backing for his speakership, reportedly promised a floor vote on the legislation.
The bill, which had 23 GOP co-sponsors as of Friday morning, faces overwhelming Democrat opposition.
Asked Wednesday whether he would bring up the bill for a vote, McCarthy said it "would have to go through committee," The Hill reported.
Scalise on Thursday told the outlet that instead of Carter's bill, he backs making permanent the tax cuts in former President Donald Trump's 2017 tax bill.
"We made the code more simplified and got rid of a lot of loopholes, and so I want to see us continue focusing on the fairness and simplicity of a tax code," Scalise said.
Other GOP lawmakers also shot down the Fair Tax Act.
"I don't think it's a wise thing," Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., told The Hill on Wednesday, adding that he doesn't think "it's smart politics or policy."
According to Bacon, the initial plan for the bill was that leaders would bring it "to the floor for a vote." However, he said he called on Republican leadership to allow the measure to "go through regular order" instead.
"I asked that it be [brought] to committee and studied and marked up, not just brought on the floor," said Bacon, who added that "if you do it the normal way, bad bolts get rooted out or they get amended."
Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith, R-Mo., told Axios earlier this week that McCarthy "believes everything should work in regular order."
"We're going to have a public, transparent hearing on that issue and we'll see where it goes from there," Smith said of the Fair Tax Act.
Scalise explained that the GOP has returned to regular order to get rid of "a lot of the [former Speaker Nancy] Pelosi rules, where a bill is written in the speaker's office and dumped on everybody. You know, take it or leave it. That's not how we're doing business."
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