U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady says time is limited to speak up against recent proposals made by the Biden administration.
In an early morning roundtable with business leaders in north Houston, Brady spoke of potential effects if proposed tax increases suggested by Pres. Joe Biden pass.
In May, the White House released Biden’s FY 2022 budget, which would fund programs on the back of America’s energy workers, Brady said. The budget proposal would remove or alter eight oil and gas-related tax provisions that would impact domestic producers.
He discussed IDC, or intangible drilling costs, percentage depletion, enhanced oil recovery credits, passive loss exception and other provisions, which if passed, will cost tens of thousands of jobs per year and reduce state revenue by almost $200 million annually.
“There is an attack on energy right now. It began with the cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline,” Brady said.
“Biden issued what I would call a ‘kill shot.’ What he is proposing will be devastating for Houston,” he said. Brady said no president in history has ever proposed taxing job creators, but that will be the result if the proposals go forward.
“He wants to raise corporate taxes to the highest level ever, 28%, which is more than any of our global partners, including China. It will put us on par with Syria, hardly known as a strong economic force,” he said.
The president has acknowledged that raising taxes will make America less competitive globally so he is asking other countries to raise their taxes, Brady said.
Brady also said that while the economy should be going strong, jobs growth has slowed, with 9 million job openings in Texas alone.
“We have too many workers sitting on the sidelines. The federal government has been paying 4 out of 10 workers to stay home,” he said.
“An average family who had both workers lose their job has received $109,000 from the government through stimulus checks, unemployment and child care credits. A family with one unemployed worker has received $67,000.”
“We can’t have the U.S. be like the Olive Garden, a never-ending pasta bowl.”
Biden, said Brady, thinks there are too many cheats in America, so he is asking for 80,000 new employees for the IRS. He also wants to require banks to report all gross transactions on every citizen’s personal and business bank accounts, a statement that prompted a rebuke from First Financial Bank’s Executive Vice President James Alexander. “We don’t want to be the nation’s tattle tale. We don’t have the staff or software to do this, not to mention the high cost,” Alexander said.
Brady said he believes there has been a shift in Congress toward the tax bill. While initially Democrats seemed to be in total support of it, now he believes they have only a very thin margin of support in the House and Senate.
“Public opinion is shifting. We have five moderate Texas Democrats who I believe do not want to support this because of the devastating effects it will have on the oil and gas industry. They are Henry Cuellar, Collin Allred, Lizzie Fletcher, Vicente Gonzalez and Marc Veasey. You can’t be pro-business and vote for these taxes.”
“Nothing is as persuasive as asking for a meeting and talking about the effects these proposals will have on Texas business. These are all good people. They will listen and I believe they realize that if they vote for the tax hikes, they won’t be coming back to Congress,” he said.
Brady ended by asking the leaders to act “soon.”
“Congress goes back to Washington mid-July and comes home in August and then resumes in September,” Brady said. “We have heard that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Biden might try to get these passed this summer so we need your voices heard soon — now.”