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Dems criticize Brady's new tax package

Dems criticize Brady's new tax package
© Greg Nash

Democrats on Tuesday criticized the tax package House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradySenate panel unanimously advances top Biden economic nominees Foreign perpetrators among fraudsters shamming state's unemployment systems Biden nominee previews post-Trump trade agenda MORE (R-Texas) released late Monday, signaling that it will be difficult for the bill to pass the Senate.

The Democrats expressed frustrations that they did not see the bill until Brady unveiled it to the press.

"Using the media as a middleman to distribute tax proposals didn't get the Republicans bipartisan support for their tax ideas in 2017, and I don't think it's going to help them now," Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenSenate approves sweeping coronavirus measure in partisan vote Senate inches toward COVID-19 vote after marathon session Senate Democrats vote to provide 0 unemployment benefits into September MORE (D-Ore.) told reporters Tuesday. "My take is, when the other side essentially learns about it for the first time in the press, which was last night, it is invariably messaging and gamesmanship."

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Brady's tax package, which clocks in at nearly 300 pages, addresses a number of issues, including the renewal of expired tax breaks, disaster relief, technical fixes to the 2017 GOP tax law and IRS reforms. The bill is expected to pass the House later this week.

In the Senate, the bill would need to receive votes from some Democrats, since it would need 60 votes to pass.

While some of the provisions in the package have received bipartisan support in the past, Democrats view the legislation as partisan because they didn't work specifically on the new bill before it was rolled out. Democrats' criticisms of Brady's package resemble their critique of Republicans during the process of crafting the 2017 tax law.

Henry Connelly, a spokesman for House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump White House associate tied to Proud Boys before riot via cell phone data Greene sounds off on GOP after Hill story 'Bloody Sunday' to be commemorated for first time without John Lewis MORE (Calif.), said that “instead of respecting the verdict of the midterms and working with Democrats, House Republicans are trying to use their last days in the majority to ram through another sprawling tax bill written behind closed doors with zero scrutiny or transparency.”

Besides the process concerns, Democrats are critical of the fact that the bill includes technical corrections to the 2017 tax law. Democrats have wanted fixes to drafting errors in the tax law to be paired with more substantive changes to the measure.

"As to the overall vehicle being used as an opportunity to 'fix' some of the problems from the other tax bill, that's going to require a lot larger effort," Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenLawmakers gird for spending battle over nuclear weapons Biden convenes bipartisan meeting on cancer research Lobbying world MORE (D-Md.) said Tuesday at an event hosted by Roll Call. 

Van Hollen added that Rep. Richard NealRichard Edmund NealProgressives won't oppose bill over limits on stimulus checks Biden administration 'evaluating and discussing' position on Trump tax returns Senate panel unanimously advances top Biden economic nominees MORE (D-Mass.), who is expected to become Ways and Means Committee chairman in January, has said he wants to hold hearings on the 2017 tax law.

Brady told reporters Tuesday that he thinks Democrats and Republicans will ultimately find common ground and send new legislation to President TrumpDonald TrumpUS, South Korea reach agreement on cost-sharing for troops Graham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump MORE's desk.

"Republicans and Democrats have always worked across the aisle on disaster relief that's timely, on helping families save more and more businesses offer savings plans," he said. "On tax policies for the end of the year, we have a tradition of doing that. Why stop now."