taxes

Capitol Ink | Meeting of the Minds

Capitol-Ink-10-17-17

Brady and Ryan Mulling Big Gamble on Key Tax Deduction
State and local tax deduction has its fans among rank and file, though

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady want to repeal the state and local tax deduction, but face resistance from several GOP colleagues in high-tax states. (Chris Maddaloni/Roll Call File Photo)

House Republican leaders face many decisions regarding details of a tax overhaul but perhaps none more immediately consequential than whether to roll the dice and try to eliminate the state and local tax, or SALT, deduction.

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas and Speaker Paul D. Ryan have made it abundantly clear they’d prefer to get rid of the deduction, which allows taxpayers to deduct what they pay in state and local property taxes and either state income taxes or sales taxes.

Ryan Threatens to Keep Members in for Christmas to Finish Tax Overhaul
‘I don’t care. We have to get this done,’ speaker says

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said he will keep members in session over Christmas if needed to complete a tax overhaul. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Nothing seems to push lawmakers to get their jobs done and pass legislation more than the threat of having to be in Washington over the holidays. 

Knowing this, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan made it clear Thursday that Congress staying in session over Christmas is an option if they have not advanced a tax overhaul bill by then. 

Who Benefits From the State and Local Tax Deduction?
Roll Call analysis finds higher-income earners reap substantial returns from the deduction

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch is among the “Big Six” Republican tax negotiators. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

A fight within the Republican Party over a proposal to eliminate the state and local tax deduction threatens the future of the GOP effort to overhaul the U.S. tax code.

Battle lines have been drawn, as lawmakers from states that see substantial benefit from the deduction — such as New Jersey and New York — are already sounding alarms at the proposal to remove it. 

Diane Black, Prepping Gubernatorial Bid, Takes Victory Lap
Tennessee Republican finally shepherded budget resolution through House last week

House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black has had an undeniable impact on this year’s budget process, thanks to her efforts to forge a compromise package. (Tom Williams/Roll Call)

The first woman to chair the House Budget Committee finally shepherded the fiscal 2018 resolution through her chamber Oct. 5, a traditionally thankless task that she took on after President Donald Trump tapped the former chairman, Tom Price, to be secretary of Health and Human Services.

Rep. Diane Black is now preparing to hand in her gavel after 10 months on the job, so she can focus on her campaign to become Tennessee’s next Republican governor, she announced in early August.

GOP Tax Messaging Heavy on Business Benefits
‘It all leads to the same end,’ speaker said of trickle-down effect of tax legislation

Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Rep. Andy Harris speak to employees at Dixon Valve & Coupling Company about the GOP’s still developing tax legislation. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

CHESTERTOWN, Md. – “Cutting taxes is great for the businesses to make businesses more money. But how is that going to lower my taxes, or make sure it comes down to me?” That was the question a 20-year-old Dixon Valve & Coupling employee posed to Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Thursday.

Visiting the company’s headquarters to promote the GOP’s still developing tax legislation, Ryan told the employee that he plans to lower taxes on individuals so they take home more of their paychecks. Then he quickly pivoted back to his primary message.

Republicans Struggle to Define Whom Their Tax Overhaul Will Help
Echoes of failed health care effort in senators’ lack of specificity on tax goals

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker supports a tax overhaul that won’t increase the deficit and promotes growth. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Republicans are still weighing who specifically will benefit from their pending overhaul of the U.S. tax code.

When asked, many were unable to communicate exactly which income brackets they would want to see reductions directed toward, instead opting to use catch-all phrases such as “hard-working Americans” or “ordinary people.”

What It Costs: 2017 Tax Overhaul Edition
How to pay for big tax cuts is a complicated process

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady and his fellow tax writers are trying to strike a balance on how to pay for their overhaul of the tax code. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

How to pay for policy proposals lawmakers want to enact is an age-old question in Congress that has killed or stalled countless ideas. That question is now a dark cloud hanging over Republicans as they seek to overhaul the tax code.

Tax writers say they plan to offset massive tax rate cuts for individuals and businesses by eliminating scores of deductions and credits that litter the tax code. But they have publicly identified only a few provisions they want to repeal.

Reps. Stivers, Harper and Carter Come Out on Top in House GOP Digital Challenge
Members lead most people to a website promoting the GOP’s vision for a tax overhaul

Rep. Steve Stivers has his pick of prizes after winning the GOP Digital Challenge. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Three House Republicans — Steve Stivers of Ohio, Gregg Harper of Mississippi and Earl L. “Buddy” Carter of Georgia — proudly accepted first, second and third prizes, respectively, for participating in the party’s Digital Challenge.

Every member of the conference had until Oct. 2 to drive traffic to a website promoting the GOP’s vision for a tax overhaul, fairandsimple.gop. Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who has led eight of these challenges, decided to make the landing page the home of the GOP’s framework for fixing the tax code.

On Tax Overhaul, Public Support Hard to Find
Economist/YouGov survey shows opinions all over the place

From left, Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., Senate Finance Committee chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., participate in the Congressional GOP media availability to unveil the GOP tax reform plan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Despite the enthusiasm for overhauling the tax code among Republican congressional leaders and President Donald Trump, the public is hardly sold on the idea that the effort is a priority or on its possible benefits. 

Nearly one-third of respondents to a new Economist/YouGov survey strongly opposed the GOP tax framework released last week, and nearly the same number believed their own taxes would stay the same under the plan.