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Here is your daily round-up of news and analysis to keep you informed as tax reform works its way through Congress,
What's happening today
House tax bill markup continues in the Ways & Means Committee.
In the news
Washington Examiner: Grover Norquist and Alex Hendrie: “Don't believe the lies - Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cuts taxes for all income levels”
Since House Republicans released their tax reform legislation last week, the plan has been attacked from the Left and Right.
Repeating word-for-word the Democrat script to attack all tax cuts proposed in any decade, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the proposal a “betrayal of the middle class,” while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called it a Ponzi scheme that helps the wealthy at the expense of middle-class families.
On the other hand, a Wall Street Journal editorial called out the tax plan for raising taxes on “the rich.”
So, who is right?
In this case, both are wrong. The House GOP tax plan, known as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” cuts taxes at all income levels – rich, poor, and middle class.
Republican leaders and tax writers are coming under increasing criticism over both the substance and process of their tax overhaul measure, and they are beginning to push back.
In a somewhat testy GOP leadership press conference Tuesday morning, Speaker Paul D. Ryan defended his team’s handling of not just the tax bill (HR 1), but other measures that will come to the floor under a closed rule, thereby limiting members’ opportunities to change it.
“Absolutely we have an open process,” the Wisconsin Republican said when asked about his pledge upon becoming speaker to open up the legislative process — and the Rules Committee reportedly breaking a record for number of closed amendment rules adopted.
Ryan said bills are going through the committee process and defended the closed amendment process on the floor as a way to prevent “dilatory tactics.”
“We also don’t want to have amendments that are designed to stop this process,” he said.
Roll Call: “Four Areas Senate Tax Bill May Differ From the House”
Senate Republicans are discussing provisions for their version of the bill to overhaul the U.S. tax code that would differ significantly from the House’s legislation.
The discrepancies — which range from changes to the current state and local tax deduction, to when corporate tax cuts take effect — could tee up a battle among the two chambers and the administration that might complicate the Christmas timeline the GOP is pursuing to get a bill to the president’s desk.
The Senate bill is expected to be released this week — likely Thursday, once the House Ways and Means Committee completes its markup. While lawmakers say the legislation will ultimately achieve the same overall goal as the House bill (to provide tax relief to the middle class and U.S. corporations), how the two chambers accomplish that could be quite different.
From the U.S. Chamber
J.D. Foster: “Of CEO Pay and Passthrough Guardrails”
Highway advocates are accustomed to guardrails, but tax reformers and small businesses not so much. So it’s not surprising the head scratching from those affected than over the “guardrail” for the lower passthrough business tax rate. To be clear, the Ways and Means Committee legislation provides an excellent starting point for powerfully pro-growth tax reform, but all acknowledge much work remains to be done. The tax code is complicated and the economy is complicated, so fixing the former to help the latter is no cakewalk.