Finance

House lawmakers unveil 'Tax Reform 2.0' ahead of midterms

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) on Monday unveiled a package of three bills touted as a sequel to the 2017 GOP tax law.

 

"Last year we said goodbye to America's old, broken tax code," said Brady. "Under our new system, we're seeing incredible job growth, bigger paychecks, and a tax code that works on behalf of families and American businesses. Now it's the time to ensure we never let our tax code become so outdated again. We look forward to bringing these bills to the Committee soon."

 

The bills would make permanent some temporary aspects of the 2017 law, which were passed with expiration dates to accommodate budget rules that allowed the GOP to pass the law with no Democratic support. It would also include provisions aimed at boosting retirement savings and small business innovation.

 

The GOP has struggled to keep the political focus on the booming economy ahead of November's election, where forecasters see a good chance of Democrats taking over the House and possibly even the Senate. 

 

Some vulnerable Republicans hoping to run on the tax cut and economy have been frustrated that scandals from the White House continue to drown out largely positive economic news.

 

Others in the GOP raised concern about the new round of tax cuts, which would make permanent a $10,000 cap for deducting state and local taxes, a provision that is unpopular in high-tax states.

 

Blue-state Republicans worry that focusing on the issue ahead of the election will make their reelection bids tougher.

 

Democrats blasted the new initiative.

 

"The first Republican tax law hasn't helped workers get ahead - wages aren't keeping up with inflation, costs for health insurance and prescription drugs are rising, and companies are laying people off and shipping jobs overseas," said Ways and Means ranking member Richard Neal (D-Mass.). "This new tax legislation is more of the same - it disproportionately benefits the wealthiest Americans while growing the nation's debt even more."

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