Republicans push for second tax vote in Congress, Democrats say ‘Let’s see’


Republican congressional leaders are moving forward with a plan to vote before the 2018 midterm elections on a bill to make permanent the temporary individual tax cuts in their recent tax overhaul.

It isn’t clear yet, however, if the plan would pick up support from Democrats, whose votes would be needed to pass legislation in the Senate.

The Republican tax law which congress approved in December without Democratic support, permanently cut the top corporate rate to 21% from 35% and created a permanent deduction for pass-through businesses. It created lower rates and new credits for individuals, but those expire at the end of 2025.

Democrats say the tax code rewrite favors businesses and the wealthy, and that working-class taxpayers will see little benefit in their paychecks. But the CBO said last week that the tax bill, as written, is projected to add $1.9 trillion to the national debt over the next decade.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said they are working on the legislation to make the individual rates permanent, but it will be finalized later in the year.

The Tax Foundation analysis of data from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, said making the individual cuts permanent after 2025 would cost an additional $1.5 trillion over the next decade.

Yet many Democrats have already said Republicans could have prioritized low- and moderate-income taxpayers over the wealthy and businesses when writing permanent sections of the original law.

And in order to comply with the Senate rules that allowed Republicans to pass the tax overhaul with a simple majority – and no Democratic support – the measure was not supposed to add more than $1.5 trillion to the U.S. debt over the next decade.

In order to make the individual rate cuts permanent, other parts of the bill should be renegotiated, some Democrats have said.