PanaTimes

Saturday, Feb 04, 2023

36 House Democrats roll out a bill to hit AR-15-style weapons with a 1,000% tax that could pass Congress without Republican support

36 House Democrats roll out a bill to hit AR-15-style weapons with a 1,000% tax that could pass Congress without Republican support

"Congress must take action to stem the flood of weapons of war into American communities," Rep. Don Beyer said in a press release.
Thirty-six House Democrats introduced legislation on Tuesday to levy a 1,000% tax on AR-15-style rifles in an effort to try and severely restrict access to the weapons through a maneuver that wouldn't require any GOP support.

Rep. Donald Beyer of Virginia formally rolled out the "Assault Weapons Excise Act" alongside 35 House Democrats spanning the ideological spectrum. Some of them are centrists who face difficult re-election bids in the November midterms.

The 1,000% tax would apply to military-style "assault weapons" and high-capacity magazines capable of carrying 10 rounds or more, adding thousands of dollars to the final sales price of such guns in a bid to severly restrict their access. It would exempt ammunition, along with recreational weapons used for hunting.

"Congress must take action to stem the flood of weapons of war into American communities, which have taken a terrible toll in Uvalde, Buffalo, Tulsa, and too many other places," Beyer said in a press release, referring to a recent string of high-profile mass shootings.

"I have voted in the past for commonsense gun safety reforms only to see them run aground on Senate Republicans' filibuster; my bill presents a pathway to bypass that obstruction and enact lifesaving measures," the Virginia Democrat said. The filibuster is the 60-vote threshold that most bills need to pass in the Senate, meaning any Democratic bill needs 10 Republican votes to advance at the moment.

Co-sponsors included Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, chair of the House Progressive Caucus; Rep. Katie Porter of California; Rep. Tom Malinowski of New Jersey; and Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York.

The measure would amount to a steep tax unlike any federal tax now on the books for firearms. The federal government already a 10% tax on certain handguns while ammunition is taxed at 11%.

It's intended to pass through budget reconciliation, a legislative maneuver allowing Democrats to sidestep GOP resistance and approve legislation with a simple majority vote. Democrats employed the tactic to pass President Joe Biden's stimulus law as well as the House-approved Build Back Better bill that later died in the 50-50 Senate.

Only measures that are deemed to have a distinct impact on the federal budget can be put into such a bill. Three budget experts told Insider that the bill would likely qualify to be included in a reconciliation package that Democrats hope to revive by summer's end, as it is structured as a tax.

"I think it passes the tests on the various requirements to qualify for reconciliation," William G. Hoagland, senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center and GOP budget expert, told Insider.

His view was shared by Ben Ritz, director of the Center for Funding America's Future at the Progressive Policy Institute, another think tank. Ritz said the bill's tax rate is easy to adjust to ensure it generates enough revenue so it complies with the strict rules of reconciliation.

It's unclear how much money the tax on military-style assault rifles would raise. "A pure excise tax that isn't set so high as to end all sales should pass the Byrd rule," Zach Moller, director of the economic program at the Third Way think tank previously told Insider, referring the rule governing what meets the requirements to be included in a filibuster-proof bill.

For decades, Democrats have pushed plans to greatly step up taxes increases on guns and ammunition in a bid to discourage people from buying them. One proposal in 2020 from Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts would have tripled the tax on handguns to 30% and nearly quintupled the tax rate on shells and cartridges to 50%.

The bill lacked a Senate Democratic co-sponsor, typically considered a sign of support in both chambers. Senate Democrats appear to be treading cautiously around the Beyer legislation.

They're trying to hash out a final bill with Republicans on a package of gun safety measures that include a modest expansion of background checks along with fresh spending on mental health initiatives and school safety.

Sen. Christopher Murphy of Connecticut has spearheaded the gun safety talks on the Democratic side, which yielded a breakthrough over the weekend. He held off from weighing in on the bill for now. "I have to take a look at it," Murphy told Insider. Others like Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont were noncommittal as well.

Warren was warm to the idea. "It's important to use every tool available and that includes taxes in order to put an end to the availability of weapons that are used for murdering people," she told Insider last week.
Newsletter

Related Articles

PanaTimes
Close
0:00
0:00
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he will block Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from serving on the House Intelligence Committee
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
Ronaldo's new contract...
Prince William's godmother resigns honorary royal role after exposing her/their racism
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman.
×