Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) demonstrated fiscal prudence and consumer rights advocacy in separate yet related incidents last week. The conservative stalwart called out Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on her praise for the IRS and slammed the Department of Energy’s proposed regulations on water heaters.
When Warren tried to laud the IRS for retrieving millions from tax delinquents, she found herself face to face with Massie’s pointed rebuttal. She announced via social media, “The IRS collected $38 million from 175+ millionaire tax cheats in the past months. House Republicans want to slash IRS funding to protect wealthy tax cheats — we should be increasing it.” Warren implied that House Republicans, currently the majority, are curbing IRS funding to shield the rich.
She gave them over a trillion dollars with the CARES Act, and now she’s bragging the IRS collected $38 million from them. 🤦♀️ https://t.co/j8bK4VudWA
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) July 23, 2023
Not to be misled, Massie was quick to expose the contrast between the millions acquired by the IRS and the billions Democrats had expended through the CARES Act, a spending package passed in 2020 during the pandemic. “She gave them over a trillion dollars with the CARES Act, and now she’s bragging the IRS collected $38 million from them,” he tweeted on Sunday.
The CARES Act, supported by Democrats, was an enormous $2.2 trillion deficit spending package claiming to alleviate the economic strain induced by the coronavirus pandemic. Massie, a consistent opponent of the Act, previously rallied for a recorded vote on the package.
Massie, not just stopping at holding Democrats accountable for their fiscal policies, took the Department of Energy to task over its proposed energy efficiency standards for water heaters. The new regulations, expected to come into effect in 2029, demand that most electric water heaters use heat pump technology, with gas-fired heaters adhering to efficiency gains through condensing technology.
“Leave us alone,” Massie demanded, pushing back against these regulations. The MIT-trained engineer, who lives off-grid, defended consumers’ right to choose, stating, “Consumers should decide whether the upfront cost of a heat-pump water heater is worth the possible long-term savings. In many cases, the monthly savings never make up for the upfront cost of the equipment.” Massie also highlighted that heat pump heaters may be less suitable for colder climates, emphasizing the necessity of consumer choice.
Despite the Department of Energy’s claim that the new regulations would save around $200 billion and mitigate more than 500 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over three decades, the reality may be more complex. The DOE’s analysis doesn’t factor in personal circumstances where more economical choices may exist. Furthermore, Japanese tankless water heater manufacturer, Rinnai, challenged the proposed regulations, labeling them “technologically impossible” and limiting consumer choice.
In light of these confrontations, it’s evident that Massie is a vigorous advocate for conservative fiscal policies and consumer rights. His stand against unnecessary government expenditure and undue regulations demonstrates the vital role of GOP members in balancing the scales in Washington, safeguarding taxpayer money, and defending consumer freedoms.