Tobacco Infrastructure Tax
On Monday, Senate Majority Whip Durbin, Senate Finance Chairman Wyden, and House Appropriations Chair DeLauro sent a letter to President Biden suggesting an increase in the tobacco tax as a way to pay for the infrastructure and family package. They purport that an increase to the tobacco tax and imposing the first federal tax on e-cigarettes would provide billions of dollars that could be used to help pay for spending plans that would cost more than $4 trillion. Per the letter, "the policy of raising and rationalizing taxes on tobacco and nicotine products is endorsed by top public health and medical organizations, and presents a win-win opportunity for your agenda. We urge your support for this policy within legislative negotiations." The idea faces an uphill fight in the Democratic-controlled House and nearly impossible odds in the evenly divided Senate. Similar legislation last year, which included taxes and sales restriction on e-cigarettes, passed the House on a 213-195. Seventeen Democrats voted against the measure, including 11 who remain in the current Congress. Only five Republicans broke ranks last year to support the e-cigarette measure.