New tax cuts were on the agenda of the House today. House Republicans unveiled the broad outlines of a new tax cuts package that would make individual new tax cuts permanent under the nation’s revised tax code, instead of allowing them to expire in 2025. The proposal stands little chance in the Senate. Nonetheless, House Republicans intend to bring it to a vote ahead of the November midterm elections, with the aim of refocusing attention on what they say are positive impacts from a new tax law that has not proved particularly popular with voters. They believe the new tax cuts will help in the mid-terms.
Some hope that the vote will put the Democrats on the spot, by forcing them to vote for or against extending tax cuts for individuals after months of railing against new tax cuts as a giveaway for corporations. The massive corporate tax cuts in the $1.5 trillion deficit busting law were permanent to begin with. “First of all, it’s good policy. I always like to vote on good policy,” said Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.). Secondly, if I can take a tax break that we’ve given to individuals who are also voters and make it permanent, I think that’s good politics too.”
GOP lawmakers discussed the new tax cuts package in a closed door briefing with House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Tex), who has been at work for months on what he’s calling “Tax Reform 2.0.” The legislation would come in three different packages. One would make the individual and small business tax cuts in the original bill permanent. The second would promote retirement savings through a variety of means, includ
ing creation of a new “universal savings account” to offer a flexible option for families. And the third would aim to spur business innovation, including by allowing start ups to write off more of their initial costs.
The total costs of the package is not known yet. But he said that the cost of making the individual tax cuts permanent would be about $600 billion. Whether the Senate goes along is the real question.