Quantcast
Connect with us

With Obamacare vote, House Republicans free to turn to tax reform

Published

on

The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives plans to turn to tax reform in earnest, after concluding a lengthy healthcare debate this week with a vote to repeal and replace Obamacare.

But even as Republicans predicted that tax reform would succeed before year-end, lawmakers encountered new uncertainties about what a final tax package might contain, as well as doubts about whether Republicans will be able to enact reforms without Democratic help.

ADVERTISEMENT

President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have pledged to complete the biggest tax reform since 1986, when President Ronald Reagan was in office, before the end of 2017. But they face an uphill battle, mainly over policy differences within their own ranks.

Thursday’s 217-213 House vote on healthcare legislation raised confidence in the Republican-controlled chamber’s ability to move major legislation after two earlier pushes ended in failure.

But to move forward on tax reform, the House, Senate and Trump administration must agree on where to set tax rates, how to pay for cuts and whether the final package should add to the deficit or pay for itself, all areas where common ground may be hard to find.

A plan to enact reforms without Democratic support will also require Republicans to pass a 2018 budget authorizing the parliamentary process known as reconciliation. But a new budget agreement poses a daunting task given Republican opposition to Trump demands for deep domestic spending cuts.

ADVERTISEMENT

“That may prove to be one, if not the most difficult votes of the tax reform process,” Jonathan Traub, a managing principal at the consulting firm Deloitte Tax LLP.

Meanwhile, the need to reach agreement between the House, Senate and White House will likely delay introduction of a tax reform bill, which had been expected in early June.

ADVERTISEMENT

But Republicans say it will ultimately make it easier to enact reforms before the end of the year.

The House Ways and Means Committee, which will unveil the initial tax bill, is still aiming for a revenue-neutral package that raises $2.4 trillion for tax cuts through a new border adjustment tax and elimination of business deductions for net interest payments, both controversial measures.

Panel chairman Kevin Brady told reporters that revenue neutrality is necessary to ensure bold, permanent changes to tax policy that can drive economic growth.

ADVERTISEMENT

“That’s the argument and the case we’re going to make to the Senate and the Trump administration,” he said.

But Representative Mark Meadows, who chairs the conservative Freedom Caucus that helped block Trump’s first healthcare bill, voiced opposition to a revenue neutral approach.

“If it’s revenue neutral, you’re not really lowering taxes. You’re shifting the burden,” Meadows told reporters.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Trump tax plan unveiled last week calls for steep tax cuts financed by government revenues that officials say will result from higher growth. Some fear the plan could add trillions of dollars to the deficit if growth does not materialize.

Meadows said tax cuts should be offset by cuts to entitlement programs including Social Security and Medicare, which Trump has promised not to touch.

(Editing by Alistair Bell)

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

Democrats could flip the Texas state house in 2020 — and reshape the national map

Published

on

Blue Texas? Democrats have long dreamt of winning Texas’s 38 electoral votes in the presidential election. That may still be a long shot, but a recent “Texodus” from Congress has given new talk to a political transformation across the Lone Star State that could have massive ramifications down the ballot and for decades to come.

This article was originally posted at Salon.

Four of the state’s GOP members of Congress have announced their retirements in recent weeks, an unusual torrent of departures signaling that a storm is coming. And evidence shows that it’s not just hitting Texas’s federal delegation. It’s coming to Austin, too.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there’: Joe Biden at Cape Cod fundraiser

Published

on

Former Vice President Joe Biden defended Republican lawmakers in DC as "decent people" during a campaign fundraiser held at Cape Cod.

"There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there," Biden argued, according to Washington Post reporter Matt Viser.

"I get in trouble for saying that with Democrats, but...every time we ever got in trouble with our administration, remember who got sent up to Capitol Hill to fix it? Me," he said.

”Because they know I respect the other team. I do. They’re decent people," Biden claimed. "They ran because they care about things, but they’re intimidated right now.”

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Neo-Nazi ‘Atomwaffen Division’ holding live-fire militia trainings at ‘The Base’ near Spokane: report

Published

on

One sign of the growing white nationalist crisis in America is a new outreach effort for paramilitary training.

"A neo-Nazi group focused on providing paramilitary-style training to far-right extremists has been conducting a massive recruitment drive and claims to have already conducted live-fire training with its members," Vice News reports.

"The Base, which is connected to extreme-right groups the Atomwaffen Division and the Feuerkrieg Division, has been promoting its growth on social media with photos announcing its presence in major cities across North America, including New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle, and in Europe, South Africa, and Australia," Vice reported. "The images often include a small contingent (typically one to three) of masked, camo-clad men holding weapons standing in front of The Base's flag, a black flag with three white lines running down the centre."

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image