Democrats launch tax offensive

Senate and House Democrats on Wednesday unveiled a package of tax cuts aimed at helping the middle class as part of a new political offensive against Republicans.
 
Three members of the Senate Democratic leadership, Sens. Dick DurbinDick DurbinGraham gets frustrated in public ‘unmasking’ debate Senate Dems set principles for potential budget negotiation Dem senator: GOP's healthcare approach will 'devastate Medicaid' MORE (Ill.), Charles SchumerCharles SchumerSenate Dems step up protests ahead of ObamaCare repeal vote Senate Dems plan floor protest ahead of ObamaCare repeal vote Dem senator: Don't bet against McConnell on ObamaCare repeal MORE (N.Y.) and Patty MurrayPatty MurrayDem senator: I don't know if Trump 'ever understood' ObamaCare Dems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity Live coverage: Senate GOP unveils its ObamaCare repeal bill MORE (Wash.) are leading the effort “to challenge Republicans to join them in cutting taxes for working families, not just the wealthiest Americans,” according to a Democratic aide.
 
Murray, the ranking member on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, has authored two of the proposals, the 21st Century Worker Tax Cut Act and the Helping Working Families Afford Child Care Act.
 
The first introduces a new tax credit worth up to $1,000 for families in which both parents work.
 
The second reforms the child and dependent care tax credit to deliver a larger benefit for families. It increases the size of the typical credit from $600 to $2,800 for most middle-income families.
 
“Our economy has changed a lot in the last few decades, and it’s time for our tax code to change with it,” Murray said in a statement. “Wages for middle class families have been flat even as costs like child care have been rising. And while Republicans continue to call for more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations.”
 
Durbin, the Senate Democratic Whip; and Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownMajor progressive group rolls out first incumbent House endorsement Dems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity Senate Banking panel huddles with regulators on bank relief MORE (Ohio), the ranking Democrat on the Banking Committee, have co-sponsored the Working Families Tax Relief Act. It would expand the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit, extending both indefinitely, according to a summary of the proposal. It would index the child credit to inflation.
 
Reps. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) are co-sponsoring the House version of the bill.
 
“The Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit encourage work, help families make ends meet, and lead to healthier and better educated children,” Durbin said in a statement.
 
Schumer, the third-ranking member of the Senate Democratic leadership; and Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee, are pushing the American opportunity tax credit.
 
It would increase the college tuition tax credit from a maximum of $2,500 to a maximum of $3,000 per year. It would also increase the income threshold for eligible families from $180,000 to $200,000 per year.
 
Their legislation would extend the credit indefinitely and change its lifetime limit from four years to a $15,000 maximum.
 
“With tuition costs continuing to rise, middle-class families should be able to take advantage of any savings they can get,” Schumer said in a statement.
 
“That is why I am introducing the this bill, which will provide real relief for families by expanding the number of people who are eligible for this higher education tax credit and increasing the size of the tax credit itself,” he said.