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EXCLUSIVE: The top Republican contenders to lead the House Ways and Means Committee if the GOP takes the House are pushing back on Democrats’ plans to increase tax rates if the party retains control of Congress.
As the House was preparing to vote on the Democrats’ massive social spending and tax bill Friday, Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, told a Bloomberg reporter that if his party keeps control of Congress after the midterm elections, he would push to raise corporate and individual tax rates.
But the GOP is sounding the alarm on the idea, and attempting to draw a contrast between “tax and spend” Democrats and Republicans.
“Of course Democrats are already planning their next tax hike before President Biden has even signed their Inflation Act into law,” Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., told Fox News Digital in a statement.
“Americans everywhere are struggling, paying more for everyday necessities like gas and groceries, and Congressional Democrats are so out of touch they’re more concerned with raising taxes than working on policies to get our economy back on track. The stakes couldn’t be higher — we must stop their reckless, tax-and-spend agenda.” -Rep. Adrian Smith
According to a senior GOP leadership aide, Reps. Adrian Smith, Jason Smith, R-Mo., and Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., are the top contenders to lead the House Ways and Means Committee should Republicans win control of Congress in November. Fox News Digital reached out to Buchanan his office did not immediately respond.
“The ink isn’t even dry on Washington Democrats’ latest $745 billion tax and spend bill and they already have their sights set on another round of crushing tax increases,” Rep. Jason Smith told Fox Digital.
“Unfortunately, it’s not surprising that the same Washington Democrats who are doubling the size of the Internal Revenue Service so it can audit more middle-class families and snoop on their bank accounts are determined to force more tax increases on families. It’s incredibly maddening that they haven’t learned their lesson after they tanked the economy and ignited the worst inflation crisis in 40 years with their reckless spending. When Republicans retake control of Congress, we will fight for policies that will raise wages, lower prices, and get our economy back on track,” he said.
The current ranking member of the committee, Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, is not seeking re-election, but also drew a contrast between the GOP and Democrats who are “celebrating” higher taxes.
“House Democrats are celebrating all these higher taxes, all this government price setting, none of which by the way, are going to lower inflation, lower the budget deficit, or lower global temperatures for the most part over the next century. But who in their right mind raises taxes in a recession?” Brady told Fox News Digital in a statement.
The Inflation Reduction Act passed in the House on Friday after clearing in the Senate on Sunday along party lines, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting a tie-breaking vote. It was introduced last month as a vastly scaled down version of the Build Back Better agenda, and agreed upon by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., includes a proposed expansion of the IRS.
The Manchin-Schumer bill, which is headed to President Biden’s desk for his signature, includes an $80 billion boost to the IRS over a 10-year period, intended to help the agency crack down on tax evasion.
If the bill is passed, the money allotted would go toward filling 87,000 IRS positions, greatly increasing the agencies current size of under 80,000 employees. The Treasury Department says some new hires would replace about 50,000 IRS workers expected to retire in the next five years.
Read More: Republicans vying for tax committee chair hit back at Democrat who promised higher taxes if Dems