Gage Skidmore

Senate Democrats are pushing a carbon tax that would increase the cost of gasoline and household electricity bills in order to raise revenue for President Biden’s multi-trillion dollar tax and spend blowout, a clear violation of Biden’s pledge to not raise any form of tax on anyone making less than $400,000 per year.

According to reporting from Politico this morning, the new push for a carbon is facilitated by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona), whose opposition to other proposed tax increases has caused her Democrat colleagues to come up with additional options to pay for their progressive wish list.

Democrats are reportedly considering a carbon tax that starts around $20 per ton and ramps up every year thereafter. The Congressional Budget Office has previously estimated that a $20 per ton carbon tax would increase taxes by $1.2 trillion over a decade while the center-left Tax Policy Center found a $20 per ton carbon tax reduces the pre-tax income of households in the lowest income quintile by nearly one percent.

However, Sen. Sinema has a long and consistent voting record opposing all forms of a carbon tax, as Americans for Tax Reform documents below. If Sen. Sinema were in fact to support a carbon tax, it would be a clear reversal of her Congressional voting record to date.

Below are five instances Sen. Sinema voted against a carbon tax and the regulation of carbon emissions.

1.  2013 – Sinema votes to block the Obama Administration from unilaterally implementing a carbon tax.

In 2013, Sinema was one of twelve House Democrats voting in support of an amendment to the REINS Act (Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2013) that required the Administration to receive approval from Congress before implementing a carbon tax.

Notably, the amendment backed by Sinema inserted language into the bill that stated, “as a tax on carbon emissions increases energy costs on consumers, reduces economic growth and is therefore detrimental to individuals, families and businesses, the REINS Act includes in the definition of a major rule, any rule that implements or provides for the imposition or collection of a tax on carbon emissions.”

2.  2016 – Sinema votes in support of Steve Scalise’s anti-carbon tax resolution

As a member of the House of Representatives in 2016, Sinema voted in support of Republican Whip Steve Scalise’s anti-carbon tax resolution. Sinema was one of six House Democrats that joined with House Republicans in support of  H.Con. Res.89, which stated “a carbon tax will fall hardest on the poor, the elderly, and those on fixed incomes,” and “a carbon tax will increase the cost of every good manufactured in the United States.”

3.  2018 In the midst of her Senate campaign, Sinema again votes in support of the Scalise anti-carbon tax resolution

In July of 2018, while she was in the heat of a tight election for her current Senate seat, Sinema again voted in support of Republican Whip Steve Scalise’s anti-carbon tax resolution. Sinema was one of seven Democrats that joined with House Republicans in support of H.Con.Res.119 which stated “a carbon tax will mean that families and consumers will pay more for essentials like food, gasoline, and electricity,” and “American families will be harmed the most from a carbon tax.”

4.  April 2021 – Sen. Sinema introduces legislation to prevent the regulation of livestock emissions

Sen. Sinema and Sen. John Thune (R- South Dakota) introduced legislation in April to prevent the EPA from regulating carbon and methane emissions from livestock production.

“Cutting unnecessary regulations frees Arizona cattlemen from costly permit fees and keeps prices affordable for Arizona families,” said Sinema in a press release accompanying the introduction of her legislation.

A carbon tax would be levied on agricultural emissions, including those from livestock production and require regulation from the EPA.  

5.  August 2021 – Sen. Sinema votes to prohibit new methane requirements on livestock

In August, Sinema voted in favor of an amendment to “establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to prohibiting or limiting the issuance of costly Clean Air Act permit requirements on farmers and ranchers in the United States or the imposition of new Federal methane requirements on livestock.”

Americans for Tax Reform opposes any effort to impose a carbon tax and urges Sen. Sinema to maintain her long and consistent record opposing a carbon tax.