GOP Overcomes Major Hurdle In Quest To Pass Tax Reform

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter

The top tax-writing panel in the lower chamber passed the House GOP’s tax reform legislation out of committee Thursday, allowing leadership to tee up a floor vote as soon as next week.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed along party lines and would slash individual tax rates across the board, double the standard interest deduction, and dramatically cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent.

House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady said that while there’s still more work to be done, he’s proud of the work they have accomplished thus far, going so far as calling its passage out of committee a “historic step.”

“[Americans] deserve a tax code where the special tax breaks and the loopholes are closed, where Washington understands this is your money, not theirs, and that Congress acts now so Americans can simply keep more of their hard-earned dollars,” he told reporters after the completion of the four-day markup. “That’s exactly what the Ways and Means Committee did today; delivered a fairer, flatter, simpler tax code that grows jobs, grows paychecks and allows you to keep more of what you earn.”

GOP lawmakers in the upper chamber were briefed Thursday afternoon on the Senate’s separate tax legislation, which bears a number of differences from the House version. While the measures largely coincide, the Senate’s not-yet-released bill would keep the estate tax and the mortgage interest deduction intact in addition to delaying the corporate tax cut.

While House Republican leadership aims to vote on the bill next week, actually passing tax reform still faces a number of hurdles. Lawmakers from high tax states, namely the New York and New Jersey delegations, have pushed back against the elimination of the state and local tax deduction in fear it would lead to an increased tax burden on the middle class in their districts.

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