President Joe Biden promised that families making under $400,000 a year would face no new taxes under his plans, but his nominee to head the Commerce Department must have not gotten that particular memo.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said during a Senate hearing Tuesday for her nomination that the administration would have to remain open to new taxation on middle class families in order to fund policies on climate change and infrastructure improvement.
Raimondo was asked by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) to comment on whether she would be in favor of new taxes including a gas tax.
"Let me say this. I, as governor, am deeply in touch with how much increasing bills affect the average American family," responded Raimondo.
"Having said that, we do need to meet the climate change challenge and we need funds for improved infrastructure – better roads, safer roads, safer bridges – which also creates jobs. So I would look to balance those interests and work as a piece of the president's team," she added.
This appears to be in contradiction to Biden's promise during an interview with CNBC in May 2020.
"I understand you want to raise taxes. The question is, how quickly you do that, in the midst of a — in the midst of this pandemic and in the midst of trying to get the economy to recover?" asked host Andrew Ross Sorkin.
"Nobody making under 400,000 bucks would have their taxes raised. Period. Bingo. Let's get people back to work. Let's get them to work," Biden said definitively.
That promise was used by fact-checkers to diffuse claims from Biden's critics that his policies would necessarily lead to higher taxes for the middle class.
Just a day after Raimondo's hearing, the president issued executive orders to fight climate change that would cost approximately $2 trillion.
Here's the video of Raimondo's comment on taxing the middle class:
Commerce Sec. Nom Stays Open To Raising Taxes On Middle Class: "Need Funds" For Climate Agenda www.youtube.com