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Mike K.
Republican PA 3

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  • Expressing the Sense of Congress That a Carbon Tax Would Be Detrimental to the United States Economy

    by Representative Mike Kelly

    Posted on 2016-06-10

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    KELLY of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from Tennessee (Mrs. Black). We see eye to eye on almost everything in our lives, and it is really good to be able to stand here today and speak so strongly in favor of H. Con. Res. 89. I really do appreciate the passion and sincerity of my colleagues across the aisle.



    What we are talking today is about policy. What we are talking about today is the all-important, unintended consequences that so often are put to blame for bad things that happen to American people. They are well intended, yes, at their conception, but very harmful.

    We are talking about a carbon tax, $10 a barrel on oil. And we are saying: Well, don't worry about that because that is going to be charged upstream. That is going to be charged when it is taken out of the ground.

    But we all know that every single tax, every single cost is paid downstream.

    What do I mean by that? Every day hardworking Americans get up in the morning and want to put a roof over the heads of their families, food on the table, clothes on their back, and a little bit of money put away for their future. But every day we continue to come up with policies that somehow, although well intended, make it harder for them to make a living, make it harder for them to live the American Dream, make it harder for them to get ready for the future.

    Now, I know there are always going to be existential threats. I get that. My grandson is afraid to get out of bed at night because he thinks there is a monster under it. He thinks that if you get up in the middle of the night, maybe there is somebody in the closet or maybe there is something else.

    Now, I am not a climate change denier. Of course, the climate changes. I have seen it happen in my life. I have seen it where people say it is getting too cold and now it is getting too warm.

    Well, you know what? It just changes. I get that.

    What doesn't change is the assault on the American people to pick up the tab on all of these costs. There is nothing that makes less sense to me than what we are doing. And back home where I come from, there is an old saying that goes something like this: Measure twice and cut once.

    Why? Because once you do that cut, it is permanent. That is why you want to measure twice to make sure that the cut you make is the right cut. That is why you need to take the policies that affect everyday American people and make sure that you are not hurting them.

    Well intended, I get it. I know it is well intended. I just don't think the American people have to pay the brunt of this.

    I am very aware of the Prime Minister of India being here Wednesday. And I also know that between India and China, that is where the greatest pollution comes from. I get it. I get it.

    Putting $10 a barrel on oil coming out of the ground just doesn't make sense. I would just like my friends on both sides of the aisle to think about somebody named Steven Jobs. Steven Jobs did not invent the PC because we taxed typewriters too high and caused the cost of that. Innovation, of course, is the answer. And we have seen great innovation.

    I know where I am from in western Pennsylvania, that clean coal is real. But the President promised, when he was running as a candidate, that he would put those who chose to make electricity by burning coal out of business. So we regulate them to the point where it is no longer cost efficient to do that, but we keep moving that way.

    The fact that 40,000 Pennsylvanians make a living that way, well, don't worry about that, they will have to find something else to do. You can go down to West Virginia and you can hear where candidates told them: Listen, you are going to be out of business, but we will find something else for you to do and we will just get to that later.

    Look, we have an opportunity today. This is a sense of Congress to tell the American people what it is that we think goes on with this policy. For far too long we have turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to the people who sent us here to represent them. We talk very loftily about what it is that we would like to see, how it is that we would like it to go, our dream for the future. But we forget that every day, hardworking American taxpayers get up, throw their feet out over the side of the bed, and go to work for a very particular reason: their families, their churches, their schools, their communities and, more importantly, all of America.

    Well intended, yes. But the results would be devastating.

    And who would pay this carbon tax? Who would pay this $10 a barrel? It would be any man or woman who has to go out and buy anything for his or her family. It would be reflected in the cost of everything we put on our backs and everything we put in our mouths. It would affect everything we do when we travel from one point to another, but we say it is necessary. It is necessary because we have to tax this so high that we drive people away from it.

    I would hope that we could come together in America's House and do what is right for America's people, to do what is right for the people who sent us here to represent them because they are working so hard to make sure that there is a future for their children.

    In the last month when we created one job for every 8,000 Americans-- one job for every 8,000 Americans, are you kidding me?--in the greatest country the world has ever known, in a Nation that leads the world in defending freedom and liberty, in a Nation that knows that the best way to help others is through American participation---- The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.

    Mrs. BLACK. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 1 minute to the gentleman from Pennsylvania.

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