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 BradyRepublicans focus tax hike opposition on capital gains change GOP, business groups snipe at Biden restaurant remarks Top Democrat offers bill to overhaul tax break for business owners 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 WydenRepublicans focus tax hike opposition on capital gains change GOP, business groups snipe at Biden restaurant remarks On The Money: Senate braces for nasty debt ceiling fight | Democrats pushing for changes to bipartisan deal | Housing prices hit new high in June 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 PelosiSunday shows preview: Bipartisan infrastructure talks drag on; Democrats plow ahead with Jan. 6 probe House Democrats grow frustrated as they feel ignored by Senate Yellen to Congress: Raise the debt ceiling or risk 'irreparable harm' 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 HollenCivil rights activist Gloria Richardson dies Senate Democrats hit speedbumps with big spending plans Here's what Congress is reading at the beach this summer MORE (D-Md.) said Tuesday at an event hosted by Roll Call. 

Van Hollen added that Rep. Richard NealRichard Edmund NealTreasury starts monthly child tax credit payments Progressives ramp up Medicare expansion push in Congress Democrats propose new deadline in Trump tax returns fight 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 TrumpTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Arkansas governor says it's 'disappointing' vaccinations have become 'political' Watch live: Trump attends rally in Phoenix 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."