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The Washington Independent

McCain Repeats ‘Cap and Tax’ Allegations

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) who highlighted his support for cap-and-trade legislation to woo independent and environmentally-minded voters during the 2008

William Willis
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Sep 10, 2009

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) who highlighted his support for cap-and-trade legislation to woo independent and environmentally-minded voters during the 2008 presidential campaign, affirmed again this week that he’s not willing to vote for a Democratic climate bill.

“I can’t use cap and trade as a way to increase revenue,” McCain told E&E. “It’s $630 billion that’s in the president’s budget. That’s not cap and trade. That’s appropriately called cap and tax. So we have to look at that.”

His argument against the Democrats’ plan is that it would raise money for the government. McCain started his campaign against any Democratic climate plan back in April, shortly after the Obama administration included a rough outline of cap-and-trade in their budget that McCain argued amounted to “cap and tax.” The plan in Obama’s budget would have relied on a cap-and-trade scheme in which most of the pollution permits were auctioned off. Even with significant auction, the Obama outline figures on just $79 billion coming into the Treasury from the auction of carbon credits in 2012. The income ramps up slowly to $83 billion in 2019.

But the Obama budget outline was always a hypothetical, with little influence on the legislation Congress is working on. The actual bill that passed in the House auctions off just 15 percent of permits in the initial years of the plan. The Congressional Budget Office’s scoring of the House bill found that it would draw in just a $24.4 billion to the Treasury between 2012 and 2019. That’s $605.6 billion less than McCain’s estimate.

Regardless of whether McCain’s critiques are grounded in reality, it’s not looking very likely that he’ll be a “yes” vote on climate legislation this year.

William Willis | William Willis is a freelance writer and social media manager who specializes in assisting finance professionals and Fintech entrepreneurs in growing their online audience and attracting more paying customers. William worked as a bank teller and virtual assistant for financial firms in the United States and the United Kingdom for six years before beginning her writing career. William is a strong force in the workplace, inspiring others to work hard and excel with her optimistic attitude and boundless energy. He enjoys hiking, crocheting, and playing video games with her grandchildren in her spare time.


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