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Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib propose amendment to defund administration of 'opportunity zone' program

Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib propose amendment to defund administration of 'opportunity zone' program
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Progressive Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezProgressives push for direct payments to be included in COVID-19 relief deal Rubio and Ocasio-Cortez spar on Twitter: 'Work more, tweet less' Harry Styles hits back at criticism over wearing dress on Vogue cover MORE (D-N.Y.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibProgressives push for direct payments to be included in COVID-19 relief deal Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks MORE (D-Mich.) this week proposed an amendment that would prevent the IRS from using funds to administer or enforce the "opportunity zone" program created by President TrumpDonald John TrumpAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week Conservative policy director calls Section 230 repeal an 'existential threat' for tech MORE's 2017 tax-cut law.

The lawmakers are proposing that their amendment be added to an appropriations bill that includes funding for the Treasury Department and IRS. The House Rules Committee is scheduled to meet Monday to determine which amendments proposed by lawmakers will be made in order.

Under the opportunity zone program, investors can receive capital gains tax breaks if they make investments in designated economically-distressed areas.

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Lawmakers created the program in an effort to help low-income communities, and the provisions in the 2017 tax law on opportunity zones were based on bipartisan legislation. But Democrats have become increasingly critical of the program in recent months, following news reports about how wealthy people are benefiting from the program.

Tlaib introduced a bill in November to repeal the opportunity zone program. She said at the time that the program "fails to drive real benefits to low-income communities, instead often rewarding President Trump’s donors." 

Other Democratic lawmakers have offered bills that wouldn't eliminate the program but would increase guardrails and reporting requirements.

Republicans back increasing reporting requirements about investments in opportunity zones, and continue to be  supportive of the program.

Rep. Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyRaising the required minimum distribution age for America's seniors On The Money: Biden, Democratic leaders push for lame-duck coronavirus deal | Business groups shudder at Sanders as Labor secretary | Congress could pass retirement bill as soon as this year Top Democrat: Congress could pass retirement bill as soon as this year MORE (Texas), the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, criticized the amendment proposed by Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib in a tweet Friday, arguing that the amendment would hurt poor communities. 

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Lawmakers have proposed a number of amendments to the appropriations bill.

An amendment from Reps. Suzan DelBeneSuzan Kay DelBeneDemocratic Women's Caucus members split endorsements for House campaign chief House Democrats run late ads defending vulnerable DCCC chair House Democrats introduce bill to invest 0 billion in STEM research and education MORE (D-Wash.) and Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierBattle for Pentagon post in Biden Cabinet heats up Democratic Women's Caucus members split endorsements for House campaign chief Pentagon puts on show of force as questions circle on COVID-19 outbreak MORE (D-Calif.) would increase funding for the IRS's operations support so that the agency has more capacity to address cases in which taxpayers have not yet received their stimulus payments.

Rep. Bob GibbsRobert (Bob) Brian GibbsHouse Republicans ask Amtrak CEO for information on Biden's train trips Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib propose amendment to defund administration of 'opportunity zone' program House conservatives want ethics probe into Dems' handling of Kavanaugh allegations MORE (R-Ohio) proposed an amendment to require political organizations that are ineligible for Paycheck Protection Program loans to return any funds they received under the program by Dec. 31.