This week, the House Ways and Means Committee debated four bills.
This legislation, all introduced by House Democrats:
- Was released merely 48 hours before the debate began;
- Received no Republican input;
- Is estimated to cost over half a trillion dollars in the next decade; and
- Exemplifies the swampiest aspects of the tax code.
Throughout the debate, Republicans proposed amendments to make the Democrats’ legislation more workable, more family-friendly, and fairer for our job creators. Unfortunately, every single Republican proposal was shot down by the House Democrat majority.
Here are the top six ways Democrats’ were, once again, #ForThePolitics this week.
1. REJECTED: Permanent tax relief for middle-class families.
Republicans offered amendments to make permanent the middle-class tax cuts from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. These amendments would have meant a permanent:
- Nearly doubled standard deduction;
- Doubled Child Tax Credit; and
- Lower individual tax rates.
Nonpartisan estimates say that making these cuts permanent could add more good-paying jobs to our economy while continuing to grow paychecks. Democrats unanimously opposed making these tax cuts for families permanent.
2. Flip-flop on Offering Relief from Obamacare’s most egregious taxes.
Obamacare raised taxes on families and Main Street businesses. And during the last Congress, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle repeatedly voted to provide relief from these harmful and job-killing taxes.
In 2018, Reps. Terri Sewell (D-AL), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Tom Suozzi (D-NY), and Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), all current members of the Ways and Means Committee, voted for a clean repeal of the Medical Device Tax.
Yet, yesterday, when Republicans proposed repealing this disastrous tax, these Democrats all reversed course and decided to keep this innovation destroying tax as the law of the land. Similarly, all Democrats voted against two other taxes offered by Republicans in an attempt to lower the cost of health insurance.
3. Delaying Certainty for Nonprofits and Churches.
Last Congress, Republicans voted to provide tax certainty to tax-exempt organizations – including churches and non-profit hospitals.
When Republicans offered an amendment to fully repeal a tax on fringe benefits, helping ensure that this tax repeal could get through the Senate more quickly and to the President’s desk, Democrats rejected it.
4. Denying Help for Seniors and Families with Expensive Medical Bills
Our most vulnerable neighbors – especially seniors and those with chronic illnesses – deserve certainty and financial relief whenever possible from their medical expenses.
Which is why Republicans, led by Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX), repeatedly proposed legislation last Congress to allow these folks to permanently be able to deduct their medical expenses if those costs exceed a certain amount of their income.
Despite strong bipartisan support for this important deduction in the past, Democrats instead resisted Republican’s efforts to help seniors with their medical bills.
5. Handouts, Handouts, Handouts
Democrats voted yesterday to give up to a $6,000 refundable tax credit to those in this country illegally.
As the Democrats’ legislation is currently written, illegal immigrants wouldn’t even need to be paying any federal taxes in order to claim this credit – they can simply get a check from our federal coffers.
6. Costly, Unpaid-for Temporary Carveouts for Special Interest
For far too long, the tax code has been stuffed with special interest carveouts that are set to expire just a few years later. These provisions are costly, often ineffective, and muddy up our tax code.
Which is why last year, Republicans set into motion a new way to treat these temporary policies by asking stakeholders to come to the table and either argue for why a provision needed to be made permanent, or how lawmakers could work to phase it out.
Instead of working toward permanent solutions, Democrats instead passed a plethora of temporary policies set to expire in just a few years.
As Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee said:
“For a House majority that campaigned on not doing business as usual, as a party that was supposedly ‘for the people’ and fiscally responsible, all those promises are what we suspected – empty promises.”