Club for Growth: GOP tax bill 'fails the pro-growth test'

Club for Growth: GOP tax bill 'fails the pro-growth test'
© Greg Nash

The influential conservative nonprofit Club for Growth on Tuesday criticized the House GOP tax plan, calling out four aspects of the plan they say don’t do enough to boost the economy.

The group said provisions in the bill that would reduce benefits for the wealthiest taxpayers “fail the pro-growth test” and don’t follow Republican campaign promises.

“While the corporate tax cut will lead to some increase in our nation’s GDP, the rest of the provisions on individual taxpayers fails the pro-growth test,” Club for Growth President David McIntosh said.

“Republicans must correct at least four serious shortcomings of the House bill to follow through on campaign promises and to bring our nation closer to a tax reform proposal that is truly pro-growth."

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Club for Growth opposes the provisions to create a fourth income tax bracket for the wealthiest payers, a marginal tax rate on earnings above $1.2 million for couples, a tax cut on some earnings for pass-through businesses and a six-year expiration of the estate tax.

The group called the higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans “class warfare the likes of which would make Democrats green with envy.” It also said the cut to the pass-through tax rate was too small to make a difference for most small businesses, and that there was no reason to wait to repeal the estate tax.

“All in all, this bill must be changed if Republicans intend to keep their promise of real pro-growth, job-creating tax cuts,” McIntosh said.

Club for Growth’s criticism comes as the House Ways and Means Committee begins the second day of the bill’s markup. The group didn't say if it would officially oppose the bill without the changes.

The tax bill has been widely supported by House GOP lawmakers, save for a group of moderates from high-population states concerned about limits on a deduction for high local taxes.

More than two dozen conservative groups have also united around the bill. Emily Schillinger, spokeswoman for House Ways and Means Committee Republicans, said “Over 25 conservative groups, including Americans for Tax Reform, Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, and Americans for Prosperity, have expressed their strong support for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act because it is pro-family, pro-jobs, and pro-growth.”

Updated at 11:18 a.m.