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 BradyLobbying groups ask Congress for help on Trump tariffs Republicans pour cold water on Trump's term limit idea Republicans' rendezvous with reality — their plan is to cut Social Security 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 WydenOvernight Energy: California, 23 other states sue Trump over vehicle emissions rule | Climate strike protests hit cities across globe | Interior watchdog expands scope of FOIA investigation | Dems accuse officials of burying climate reports Microsoft to provide free updates for voting systems running Windows 7 through 2020 Interior watchdog investigating political appointees' review of FOIA requests 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 PelosiBiden blasts Trump, demands he release transcript of call with foreign leader Pelosi wants to change law to allow a sitting president to be indicted Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Walmart to stop selling e-cigarettes | Senators press FDA to pull most e-cigarettes immediately | House panel tees up e-cig hearing for next week 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 HollenProgressive tax-the-rich push gains momentum Senators pressure Trump to help end humanitarian crisis in Kashmir Democratic candidates are building momentum for a National Climate Bank MORE (D-Md.) said Tuesday at an event hosted by Roll Call. 

Van Hollen added that Rep. Richard NealRichard Edmund NealLobbying groups ask Congress for help on Trump tariffs Senate confirms two Treasury nominees over Democratic objections Trump urges judge to deny New York's motion to dismiss state tax return lawsuit 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 John TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest 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."