From the Wall Street Journal:
The $9 billion tax increase was included in the bill the House passed last month, and it is much smaller than a broader tobacco-tax increase that House members had advanced earlier in the year. The smaller version would have imposed a tax on vaping products designed to parallel the existing federal cigarette tax rate of $1.01 a pack. Under the House-passed plan, e-cigarettes, vaping liquids and oral nicotine pouches would have been taxed.
All of the tax increases on tobacco and nicotine drew objections from Republicans, who said the burden would fall on lower-income and middle-income households. Many of the proposals would have affected people with incomes below $400,000, the cutoff below which President Biden said Americans wouldn’t face tax increases.
In a statement, Ms. Cortez Masto pointed to the impact the tax could have on people with incomes below $400,000. She has also opposed Democratic proposals on mining and changing how unrealized capital gains are taxed.
“I have been clear from the start of this process that I would not raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000, and I would not support measures that hurt Nevada’s small businesses, farmers and ranchers, or the more than 30,000 men and women whose jobs are supported by the mining industry,” she said.
Democrats will need unanimous support for the bill’s provisions to pass it in the 50-50 Senate without Republican support.
The evidence is clear that imposing a new excise tax on vaping products will discourage adults from quitting smoking and shut down small businesses already dealing with industry-crushing federal regulations,
It should be pointed out that Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D., Nev.) likely objected to this particular set of tax proposals because of the mining changes and the unrealized capital gains taxes more than the financial impact on lower and middle class vapers.
The Wall Street Journal pointed out that Republicans objected to proposals but this bill is expected to pass on a 50-50 party line with Vice President Harris also getting involved, meaning Republican support or opposition is irrelevant on this bill. Senator Cortez-Masto's vote on the overall bill is essential and killing this set of taxes was required for her vote.
This vaping tax or a similar one may make its way back into another large bill in the future.
Also Happening Today Elsewhere in the Senate
Senator Durbin continues Pressure Campaign on the FDA
Senator Durbin (D., Illinois), a long time opponent of e-cigarettes, released a strongly worded open letter to Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock and Mitch Zeller, the Director for Center for Tobacco Products FDA demanding the FDA speed up the review of products submitted for review as part of the PMTA.
Today marks THREE MONTHS past the court-ordered deadline for @US_FDA to finish reviewing e-cigarettes—yet some of the most kid-friendly vapes remain on the market without authorization. When will the agency finally wake up to its public health duty and do the right thing?— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) December 9, 2021
Senator: Your letter claims vape firms "preyed upon and hooked millions of children." US high school daily use is now 3.1% (down from 5.9% in 2019).— Charles A. Gardner, PhD (@ChaunceyGardner) December 9, 2021
Even if ALL daily nicotine vapers are 'hooked' (unlikely), 3.1% of 15 million is 0.46m. Not "millions."https://t.co/tULeCuLt7o
Everyone should give Charles A. Gardner, PhD over on twitter. He has a very scientific, harm reduction based approach to his advocacy that sheds light on many tobacco and nicotine related issues.