Rep. Kevin Brady: Tax hikes could drive up consumer prices

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Rep. Kevin Brady: Tax hikes could drive up consumer prices

Texas Republican Rep. Kevin Brady told FOX Business on Tuesday that while bipartisan infrastructure package is a step in the right direction, one of the revenue-raising measures could wind up being a headache for companies and consumers.

Brady, who is the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, was disappointed by the focus on more dense infrastructure but was pleased by what he called frivolous spending.

He added that about half of the pay-for provisions were budget gimmicks.

There are several tax increases, one of which, said Brady, will drive up consumer prices by taxing chemical production in the U.S. ; That certainly can land on families along those supply chains somewhere.

The bill calls for repealing superfund taxes on chemicals which are taxes on chemical producer. That provision is expected to raise $4.4 billion over 10 years.

The American Chemistry Council expressed earlier concern about the excise taxes, which expired in 1995, echoing Brady's warnings about consumer prices.

The proposed reinstatement of outdated Superfund Taxes — new excise taxes on 42 chemicals and other materials — will increase the cost of a variety of consumer goods, including many of the very materials needed for infrastructure development and climate improvement, said CEO Chris Jahn in a statement last month.

As previously reported by FOX Business, lawmakers also proposed cracking down on cryptocurrency transactions, which would raise an estimated $28 billion over the course of 10 years.

In total, the bipartisan infrastructure bill contains approximately $550 billion in new federal spending in its current form. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that the plan's tax measures would raise about $51 billion in U.S. tax revenues over a decade.

Lawmakers plan to repurpose hundreds of billions of dollars worth of unspent COVID - 19 relief funds to help fund the initiative.

Brady's larger concern, however, was that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. might hold the infrastructure initiative hostage to the Democrats' largest spending bill of $3.5 trillion passing without Republican support.