Republicans Rely on Future Congresses to Carry out Tax Plan

By Lawler, Joseph | Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The, November 8, 2017 | Go to article overview

Republicans Rely on Future Congresses to Carry out Tax Plan


Lawler, Joseph, Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The


Republicans will rely on future Congresses to carry out a significant portion of their tax plan.

To limit the size of the tax cut to $1.5 trillion over a decade, House tax writers included a five-year expiration of a new $300 parent tax credit that is meant to help ensure that middle-class families don't see tax increases under the legislation.

But Republicans don't actually intend for the credit, or several other expensive provisions, to expire. Rather, they didn't want the revenue lost by the credit to be calculated in the bill and will count on lawmakers reinstating the credit in the future.

"Those are sunsets that will never occur, we don't believe will ever occur, we don't intend to ever occur," House Speaker Paul Ryan told the Washington Examiner at a tax reform event Tuesday. Instead, he explained, they are included to satisfy the Senate limitation on the size of the tax cut to $1.5 trillion.

Ryan effectively dared a future Democratic-led Congress to not pass legislation to renew the credit.

"I'd love to see Democrats raise that tax," he said.

"I highly doubt they would do that... I'd look forward to that vote," Ryan added.

"Our expectation is a lot of those things would be renewed by Congress down the road," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Bloomberg on Wednesday.

In the eyes of Democrats, the maneuver is a way of hiding the true cost of the business tax cuts the GOP is aiming for.

"If [Ryan] really wants them permanent and he's committed to them, and he wants to provide the certainty, he'll put them in the bill," Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, said of the tax credits Republicans are considering phasing out. Doggett is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee that is working this week on the tax reform bill.

Members of the House Republican conference sounded at ease with the gambit and confident that the credit wouldn't die. …

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