Liberal groups, unions urge lawmakers to oppose second round of Trump tax cuts

Liberal groups, unions urge lawmakers to oppose second round of Trump tax cuts
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A coalition of organizations that includes liberal groups and labor unions are urging lawmakers to reject a potential second round of GOP tax cuts, as the White House and key Republicans say they want to release a proposal this summer.

“America cannot afford the Trump-GOP tax cuts benefitting the rich and corporations, and we sure cannot afford a Round 2 that puts the interests of the wealthy over everyone else while maintaining a lower tax rate on income earned from wealth compared to wages and salaries,” the groups wrote this week in a letter to Congress members.

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE signed a tax-cut bill in December that cut rates for individuals and businesses. The president and a number of GOP lawmakers want to tackle another package of tax cuts before the midterm elections.  

House Republicans say they are aiming to vote on a second round of tax cuts this fall. But a second tax bill is unlikely to pass the Senate, where it would need 60 votes. It's unclear if the Senate will even hold a vote.

Republicans' top priority for a second round of tax cuts is to make the cuts for individuals in last year's bill permanent. The individual cuts expire after eight years in order to comply with rules that allowed Republicans to avoid a Democratic filibuster.

Supporters of phase two of the tax cuts argue that making the individual tax cuts permanent would help middle-class families. The bill lowers tax rates across the board and increases the standard deduction and child tax credit.

But the liberal groups and unions argued that making the individual cuts permanent would largely benefit wealthy individuals. They noted that the individual tax cuts include a cut to the top individual tax rate, the deduction for owners of noncorporate businesses known as “pass-throughs” and the larger exemptions to the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax.

The signers of the letter also noted that the 2017 tax bill is estimated to add more than $1 trillion to the deficit over 10 years and that the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that extending the individual tax cuts would increase deficits by an additional $650 billion.

The groups said that Trump has already proposed cuts to social safety net programs, and that “round 2 tax cuts would give conservatives an excuse for still deeper cuts.”

Instead of extending the individual tax cuts in last year's bill, the groups urged Congress to "support legislation to ensure that the wealthy and large profitable corporations pay their fair share so that we have the revenue needed to invest in our families and communities to strengthen public education, fix infrastructure, make healthcare more affordable, assist families in need of affordable childcare, housing, nutrition and other basics, and provide a secure retirement with dignity."

Groups that signed the letter include Americans for Tax Fairness, Tax March and the AFL-CIO.