Published On: Tue, Sep 14th, 2021

Lawmakers Clash on When a Levy is a Tax or a Fee

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News Analysis Day one of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s marathon markup of President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion Build Back Better spending plan sparked a revealing debate between the parties on whether a proposed new federal levy is a tax or a fee. At the center of the debate is the Biden administration’s proposal to impose a new levy on methane gas emissions during energy production. When Ranking Minority Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) offered an amendment to strike the levy, it quickly became clear that the only thing the two sides agreed on was that methane stinks. After McMorris Rodgers defended her amendment as necessary because the proposed “natural gas tax” would “make it more expensive to heat homes, to cook, eat, to manufacture thousands of products” a succession of GOP colleagues on the panel expanded upon her theme. “This partisan tax is damaging, it’s dangerous, and it’s …

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