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GOP lawmaker: Donors are pushing me to get tax reform done
A House Republican lawmaker acknowledged on Tuesday that he's facing pressure from donors to ensure the GOP tax-reform proposal gets done.
Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) had been describing the flurry of lobbying from special interests seeking to protect favored tax provisions when a reporter asked if donors are happy with the tax-reform proposal.
"My donors are basically saying, 'Get it done or don't ever call me again,' " Collins replied.
House GOP leaders are pushing an aggressive timeline for overhauling the tax code for the first time since 1986. They hope to pass the bill, which was only unveiled last week, before Thanksgiving so that it can be enacted into law by the end of the year.
However, the bill is expected to be amended in the House Ways and Means Committee this week.
Republicans are seeing to highlight the benefits of their tax-reform plan for the middle class, citing an example of a family making the median household income of $59,000 getting roughly a $1,182 tax cut by using the proposed doubled standard deduction, reduced tax rate and expanded child tax credits.
At the same time, critics of the legislation have pointed to the expected windfalls for corporations and the wealthy. The bill would cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, which Republicans say is necessary to keep the U.S. rate in line with other advanced nations.
The GOP tax proposal would double the limit of the estate tax, which currently applies to estates of $5.5 million or more, and eventually phases it out altogether.
In addition, the legislation would eliminate the alternative minimum tax, which is designed to establish a limit on tax exemptions.
Some GOP lawmakers have expressed concerns about a variety of proposals in the tax legislation, including the elimination of the state and local tax deduction, tax credit for adoptive parents and capping the mortgage interest deduction up to loans of $500,000, which is half of the current $1 million.
"Every special interest is out in force," Collins said as he spoke to reporters outside a House GOP conference meeting Tuesday morning. "I'd say the more they come out, it's an indication we're doing a darn good job."
And it's not just corporate lobbyists, Collins said: he gave an example of his niece urging him to restore the adoption tax credit.
"We are getting lobbied by our families, our neighbors, our friends," Collins said.
Collins has recently made headlines because the House Ethics Committee is reviewing whether he violated federal law and House rules by sharing nonpublic information with investors of an Australian pharmaceutical company.