Kevin McCarthy: I oppose my party's tax plan that I'm bringing up for a committee vote
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Photo by Saul Loeb for AFP)

Under the terms of the deal that got him confirmed, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) agreed to advance "FairTax" — a 30-year-old proposal to entirely abolish the IRS and replace it with a 30 percent tax on all retail sales and spending.

But that doesn't mean McCarthy is on board with the proposal. In a conversation with CNN congressional reporter Manu Raju on Tuesday, asked if he supported the plan, he simply replied, "No."

"As part of the deal to win the speakership, McCarthy did agree to let the bill move through 'regular order' — in other words to let the House Ways and Means Committee vote on it and see if it has enough support to get to the floor, according to Rep. Chip Roy," reporter Raju. "The chairman of that committee, Jason Smith, told me that they plan to have a hearing on the bill to discuss the 'pros and cons.'"

Even Smith, noted Raju, "was non-committal in backing the bill or holding a committee vote on it."

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FairTax has been introduced as a bill in Congress before, and even had the backing of some Republican presidential candidates, including former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR) both times he ran. However, it has never been seriously debated as legislation.

Experts, including former Ronald Reagan adviser Bruce Bartlett, have broadly slammed the proposal as unworkable, regressive on the poor, and potentially disastrous for the economy and the functioning of the government. President Joe Biden has also signaled he plans to go after Republicans for proposing the idea, pointing out the extra expense it would create for families.

Watch the video below or at this link.