The House Ways and Means Committee, the chief tax committee that has jurisdiction over all taxes and revenue-generating programs (social security, medicare, unemployment) is saying “no thanks” to dealing with potentially one of the largest taxes in history, the cap and trade energy tax.

From CongressDailyAM:

“House Ways and Means Committee Democrats are likely to punt on their opportunity to help shape climate-change legislation, given a tiny window for action, zero agreement among panel members and a desire to focus instead on health care.

That tentative decision was made during an hour-long closed-door meeting of Democrats on the tax-writing panel Wednesday after House Speaker Pelosi handed down a June 19 deadline for Ways and Means and several other committees to do a markup or lose their partial jurisdiction over a cap-and-trade and energy strategy approved by the Energy and Commerce Committee shortly before the Memorial Day break.”

To recap: There is an energy tax bill that’s going to generate over $5.7 trillion inflation-adjusted dollars and the committee most responsible for debating tax issues is going to sit this one out, which raises the question: What’s the point of even having a Ways and Means Committee. To nationalize health care, apparently. Artur Davis, D-Alabama says,

I think it’s imperative that the Ways and Means Committee begin to move on the healthcare issue to assert primacy over that issue and really drive the debate. So a number of us within the committee are advocating, as far as outlining the calendar over the next few weeks, an approach that enables us to move as quickly as possible within the committee to health care.”

You won’t hear the proponents of cap-and-trade calling it a tax. The Obama administration and many members of Congress claim that any money generated by a cap-and-trade is euphemistically referred to as “climate revenue.” Instead it should be called what it truly is: energy tax revenue. It’s a tax on energy that will raise gasoline and electricity prices 58% and 90% by 2035, respectively.

Despite Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA), one of the chief architects of the cap and tax bill moving through the House of Representatives saying House Ways and Means “”has an important role to play in this legislation and so we need them to be involved in it,” it sounds like they’re going to pass.

If they’re not going to address something this grand in scheme, what’s the point of even having a Ways and Means Committee?