Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), predicted that any vulnerable Democrat who votes to increase taxes will lose their seat when voters head to the ballot box in 2022.
Emmer, the head of the House GOP’s campaign arm, made these remarks when asked his thoughts on potential tax increases included in President Biden’s infrastructure plan and other Democratic priorities.
“I'm going to tell you right now, and I’ll say this out loud and I'll bet McCarthy's house on it — any vulnerable Democrat who votes to increase taxes, corporate or otherwise, will lose their election in November of 2022,” Emmer said during a virtual discussion with the Ripon Society last Thursday, according to a press release from the group.
To pay for his $2 trillion infrastructure plan, Biden is proposing an increase in the corporate tax rate to 28 percent, which the White House says will pay for the investments over a 15-year period.
Emmer, however, said the “absolute worst formula for success” would be undoing the tax cuts implemented under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law by former President Trump in 2017.
“What we've seen since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed was an explosion of American manufacturing and bringing jobs back to this country,” Emmer said. “That’s why we're positioned to do well coming out of a pandemic.”
“They can certainly undo tax cuts and change things, but they do so at their peril,” he later added.
Emmer was also asked about the effort he is leading to retake the House in 2022, and the candidates being recruited to run on Republican ballots.
He said the “excitement” and “energy” and “still out there,” adding that he thinks almost 400 candidates have filed campaign committees to run as Republicans for House seats in 303 districts.
By his count, nearly 100 women, 70 candidates from minority communities and 88 veterans have filed committees.
“It is a totally different energy level that's out there,” Emmer said, later adding “We're going to have the right message. It's just a matter of making sure we have enough resources.”
Republicans are intent on taking back the House in 2022, after flipping a net 12 seats red last November, but falling short of the majority. Democrats currently control the lower chamber 218 to 212, with 5 seats vacant.
In February, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he would “bet my house” that Republicans win back the majority in the House in 2022.
Emmer expressed measured confidence last month, telling The Hill that his party will have to work hard to gain seats in 2022, especially because the president's party typically loses seats in midterm elections.
“I think people have to keep in mind that even though history might be on your side, you got to make history,” Emmer told The Hill in an interview. “And it doesn’t happen just because it’s happened in the past so no, I think we get to work 10 times as hard.”
Republicans are now eyeing immigration as a focus point in building their case for taking back control of Congress in 2022. Last week, Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) predicted that immigration will be a “potent weapon” for Republicans, as the situation at the southern borders worsens under Biden’s watch.
Emmer made the remarks during a virtual meeting of the Ripon Society and the Franklin Center during a speech largely centered on the Abby Honold Act, which would reform the system for reporting and prosecuting sexual assaults by creating a grant program to train law enforcement agencies in evidence-based, trauma informed interview techniques, which would in turn help survivors feel safe in coming forward with their experiences.