Hoyer: Dems eyeing ways to roll back GOP tax law

Hoyer: Dems eyeing ways to roll back GOP tax law
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Rep. Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerDems unveil slate of measures to ratchet up pressure on Russia House leaders clash over resolution backing ICE Hoyer calls on GOP to bring up election security amendment MORE (D-Md.) said Tuesday that Democrats would seek to roll back the GOP’s tax-code overhaul if they control the lower chamber next year.
 
Hoyer, the minority whip, said the Democrats would not repeal the tax law in its entirety, citing certain provisions the party supports, such as cuts for the middle class, a reduction in the corporate rate and efforts to encourage companies to repatriate foreign-held dollars into the U.S. economy. 
 
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But Hoyer said the 21 percent corporate tax rate adopted in the GOP bill is too low, suggesting that Democrats would raise it. And he vowed more generally that Democrats would shift the benefits, which now favor corporations and the wealthy, to the greater advantage of middle- and lower-class workers. 
 
“We’ve got to see what the corporate rate is going to do, but we’ve got to give a much greater share … to the middle class, to working people, as opposed to those that are doing very well,” Hoyer said during a press briefing in the Capitol. 
 
Hoyer was particularly critical of the tax bill’s effects on deficit spending. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated the law will add $1.9 trillion to the debt by the end of 2028 — a long ways from the Republican predictions that the cuts would pay for themselves by spurring economic growth. 
  
“One of the modifications we’re clearly going to seek is, first of all, to try to get us on a more fiscally sustainable path,” Hoyer said. “And secondly, to ensure that to the extent we have tax cuts, that they do really advantage the middle class workers as opposed to the wealthiest in America, who don’t need relief.”
 
Republican leaders have all but dismissed the CBO estimate, with some claiming the group simply can’t be trusted.
 
“Never believe the CBO," Larry Kudlow, who was recently named President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE’s top economic adviser, said Thursday in an interview with Fox News. "They're always wrong, especially with regard to tax cuts, which they never score properly because they don't understand the growth, the incentives and the encouragements to reward success.”
 
Yet even as Kudlow was bashing the CBO on Fox, Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDems unveil slate of measures to ratchet up pressure on Russia National Dems make play in Ohio special election Trump vows to hold second meeting with Putin MORE (R-Wis.) was in the Capitol touting a new CBO report predicting increased economic growth this year — up to 3.3 percent — in part due to the tax cuts. 
 
“What we are seeing is an economy that was growing 1 to 2 percent, now it's heading north of 3 percent. That's exactly what we projected,” Ryan said. “That means people get to keep more of what they earned.” 
 
The CBO estimates the growth will decline considerably after this year, averaging 1.7 percent between 2020 and 2026.
 
Hoyer is citing a report from the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan research group, finding that, by 2027, 83 percent of the law’s tax cuts would go to the top 1 percent of earners. That’s largely because, unlike the law’s corporate cuts, which are permanent, the individual tax cuts expire after 2025. 
  
Ryan and the Republicans are hoping to alleviate that discrepancy, vowing to bring a vote this year on legislation making the individual cuts permanent, as well. 
 
“We fully intend to make these things permanent, and that's something we'll be acting on later this year,” Ryan said. 
 
The Republicans are all but daring the Democrats to vote against the measure, warning that such opposition would be akin to supporting a middle-class tax hike in an election year.
 
Hoyer, however, suggested the Democrats will oppose it in any event, equating the permanent cut to “a shell game” that would only pile billions of dollars more onto the federal debt.
 
“It’s a little bit of the same shell game they continue to play: pretend to be fiscally responsible, and act fiscally irresponsible,” Hoyer said. “They could have come within the $1.5 trillion by not giving the wealthy so much money.” 
 
Ryan said he hasn’t seen an estimated cost for the expansion of the individual benefits. “But obviously,” he said, “these tax cuts are intended to be permanent.”