NY lawmakers reintroduce bill to restore full SALT deduction

New York Reps. Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyAppropriators face crucial weekend to reach deal ICE emerges as stumbling block in government funding talks Congress races to beat deadline on shutdown MORE (D) and Pete KingPeter (Pete) KingHouse GOP criticizes impeachment drive as distracting from national security issues Retiring lawmaker's 2018 opponent won't run for seat, citing 'difficult' pregnancies House panel advances flavored e-cigarette ban MORE (R) have reintroduced their bipartisan bill to restore the full state and local tax (SALT) deduction, as the cap on the deduction instituted under President TrumpDonald John TrumpPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant Trump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax MORE's tax law is expected to be scrutinized by the new Democratic majority in the House.

Lowey and King announced the reintroduction of the bill on Thursday, very shortly after the new Congress began. The two lawmakers view restoring the full SALT deduction as a way to help residents of their state. 

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"Our bill ensures that New York families see tax relief, not more tax burdens,” Lowey, the new chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, said in a statement.

King, one of the few Republicans in the new Congress who voted against Trump's tax law, said that the legislation is "critical" because New Yorkers give more money to the federal government than they get back.

The tax law that Trump signed in December 2017 caps the SALT deduction at $10,000. Republican authors of the law limited the deduction in order to help raise revenue to pay for lowering tax rates and because they viewed the deduction as an unfair subsidy to high-tax states.

But the cap has been concerning to lawmakers in both parties from high-tax states such as New York, New Jersey and California.

No Democrats voted for the tax law, and the SALT deduction cap is an aspect of the law that Democratic lawmakers have most frequently criticized. The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to hold hearings this year on the tax law, and the SALT deduction cap is likely to be discussed in those hearings.

Eleven of the 12 House Republicans who voted against the tax law did so due to concerns about the SALT deduction cap. Only four of those 11 lawmakers are still in Congress — including King, who has expressed concerns that the deduction cap hurt Republicans in the midterm elections.

Efforts to restore the full SALT deduction are likely to face some criticism from many Republicans. And analysts across the political spectrum have estimated that a restoration of the full deduction would primarily benefit high earners.

The right-leaning Tax Foundation released an estimate on Friday finding that repealing the cap on the deduction would cost $673 billion over a decade and would almost exclusively help people in the top 20 percent of income. The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, whose director is a former Obama administration official, similarly estimated in September that higher earners would get most of the benefits from undoing the cap.

But supporters of repealing the cap argue that people in their districts in the middle class would be helped by restoration of the full SALT deduction.

"In many districts, it's not just high-income people, it's hard-working people who should have that deduction," Lowey told The Hill on Friday.