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Continuing the roundtable series launched by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23), today Republican Whip Steve Scalise (LA-01) hosted a discussion on the proposals included in President Biden and Democrats’ reconciliation bill that would make it more expensive to heat Americans’ homes and keep the lights on. Their proposed tax on natural gas alone would raise Americans’ heating bills by up to $242 per year and eliminate as many as 90,000 jobs.

Joining Republican Whip Scalise were House Republican Representatives Bill Johnson (OH-06), Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11), Kelly Armstrong (ND-AL), Carol Miller (WV-03), and Debbie Lesko (AZ-08). The lawmakers were joined by Anne Bradbury, CEO of the American Exploration & Production Council (AXPC); Claudette Duff, President and CEO at Integrity Senior Services; Kristen Granier, Senior Director at American Gas Association; and Jim Wilkes, President, Director, and Co-Owner of Texland Petroleum, L.P.

Due to inflation, American families are currently paying 13-year high prices for everyday goods and services. Democrat policies, which have already fueled this steep rise in prices, run the risk of driving up consumer costs even more. This is especially true when it comes to their America-last energy proposals included in their reconciliation bill.

Under current economic conditions, forecasts already predict Americans will end up paying up to 54% more for their heat bills this year. The Democrats’ heat-your-home tax will drive up their costs by up to $242 more per year. This is particularly devastating to low-and-middle class families, and those living on a fixed income.

With Democrats continuing to prioritize their friends in Europe over the American people, House Republicans gathered together with the panelists to discuss the ramifications of their harmful policies. Rising energy prices help no one, and will only harm the people who live in our country and the businesses that power it.

Here are three takeaways from today’s roundtable:

Democrat policies are hurting America’s workers and small businesses.

Representative Carol Miller: “The reconciliation bill fails to meet our energy needs. We’re going to put 90,000 people out of jobs if we continue with what we’re doing with gas and oil.”

Representative Kelly Armstrong: “We are not lowering world-wide emissions by doing this. What we are doing is putting American companies, American workers, and American energy producers at a disadvantage on the world stage.”

Kristen Granier, Senior Director at the American Gas Association: Democrats’ anti-American energy proposals will “make it harder to deliver affordable energy to customers and will likely raise costs to 180 million Americans and 5.5 million businesses.” 

Anne Bradbury, CEO of the American Exploration & Production Council (AXPC): “Over one third of Americans struggle to pay their energy bills” and “some estimates show that such a tax on natural gas could increase the average consumer bill by about 17%. And this is on top of the inflation and increased costs that we’re already seeing.”

Democrat policies will increase taxes on low-and-middle class families and senior citizens.

Republican Whip Steve Scalise: “We’ve all heard President Biden say ‘don’t worry if you make less than $400,000/yr your taxes won’t go up.’ Well, that promise gets broken with the heat-your-home taxes that President Biden is trying to impose on families.” 

Representative Debbie Lesko: “Grocery prices are skyrocketing, gasoline is at a seven-year high. People are paying more and more out of their pocket. Now on top of that, President Biden and Democrats are proposing a natural gas tax.” 

Claudette Duff, President and CEO of Integrity Senior Services: “I am concerned that vulnerable seniors are not being considered. While I believe we must battle climate change, I am also painfully aware that most seniors have little financial wiggle room…Any possibility of an added cost to [seniors] must be seriously considered.”

Jim Wilkes, President of Texland Petroleum, L.P.: “The proposals put forward in reconciliation – from changes in tax policy to the proposed establishment of new and unprecedented fees on the industry at every level, and threats to seize federal lands production… would result in higher heating and gasoline prices and higher heating costs for communities across the United States.”

Democrat policies will make inflation worse. 

Representative Bill Johnson: “The Biden administration, with these egregious policies, are basically telling the American people that they are going to have to accept a lower standard of living. This year Thanksgiving and Christmas are going to be a lot tougher for millions of Americans because prices are going up on everything.”

Representative Nicole Malliotakis: “We need to have a diversification of energy sources to keep up with the demand. These are not ‘high class problems’ as the White House is saying.”

While President Biden and Congressional Democrats continue to ignore the financial impacts their policies will have on seniors and working-class families, House Republicans believe that we must work with energy producers and utility companies to create an all-of-the-above approach that reduces prices and carbon emissions. That is why House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy is calling for increased investment in our domestic energy production and a greater commitment to fostering innovative solutions for our short and long-term energy production.

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