The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the most prominent business group in the country, came out firing — and claimed a tax like the one being introduced in Congress would decrease returns for Americans across the country.
"A financial transaction tax would decrease returns for people saving to buy a house, pay for college, or retire. It would also make it more expensive for businesses to raise the capital they need to start, expand, and create jobs," Tom Quaadman, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, said in a statement.
He also invoked the memory of two Democratic presidents to hammer home his point. "Presidents Kennedy and Johnson repealed a similar tax, and we should continue to heed their wisdom," he said.
A person with direct knowledge confirmed the Chamber of Commerce will actively lobby against the bill.
Representatives for DeFazio and Schatz did not return requests for comment.
The nascent lobbying effort is just one of the huge obstacles facing the Democratic proposal.
Some of these organizations successfully championed large aspects of the tax reform bill that was eventually passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump at the end of 2017. The law cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and made cutbacks to individual rates as well.
In a previous interview with CNBC, DeFazio said he had encountered resistance from outside groups last time he tried to pass a similar piece of legislation two years ago.
"I have experienced this [resistance] in the past, and I imagine there will be some of it this time around," he said Monday. "You would be discouraging high-frequency trading, and they aren't going to be happy with the bill."
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