Will Democrats Support A House Tax Bill That Has Bipartisan Appeal?

“They’re sort of upset about the process of how the bill came together, which makes them maybe less willing to support the bill.”

By Rhonda FanningNovember 28, 2018 11:03 am

As the clock ticks down to the end of the lame-duck session of Congress, a Texas Republican is calling for more tax cuts.

Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Kevin Brady from The Woodlands, who loses his chairmanship once the Democrats take over the House in January, unveiled a massive tax bill this week that reads like a GOP holiday wish list: extensions to expired tax breaks, tax relief for victims of natural disasters, a revamping of the IRS and more. Naomi Jagoda, a tax reporter for The Hill, says Brady aims to “tie up loose ends” with the bill before the end of the year.

“[It’s] a little bit of a hodgepodge of a whole bunch of tax priorities that Republicans would like to see passed by the end of the year,” Jagoda says.

Jagoda says in theory, the bill could appeal to Republicans and Democrats – that’s because several of its provisions, including the revamping of the IRS, are things that Democrats have supported in the past. But Jagoda says Democrats didn’t see the bill until Brady issued a press release about it.

“They’re sort of upset about the process of how the bill came together, which makes them maybe less willing to support the bill,” Jagoda says.

Toby Eckert, tax editor at Politico, says indeed, many Democrats haven’t yet reviewed the bill. He says he’s still waiting to see how much of the bill Democrats will be willing to support.

“We just talked to one senior member of the Senate tax-writing committee, a Democrat, Ben Cardin from Maryland, and he said it would be extremely challenging to get this done in the remaining days of the session,” Eckert says.

Eckert says one thing that stands out about the bill is how it aims to correct parts of the tax law that Republicans passed last year.

“I think Republicans would like to get that done before they slip into the minority in the House,” Eckert says.

He says Republicans also want to renew some tax incentives that benefit certain interest groups, before they expire.

Jagoda of The Hill says the House will most likely vote on the Bill later this week. But she says if it passes and moves to the Senate, it’s not likely to get enough Democratic support there to pass.

“It’s sort of unclear what the ultimate fate of this will be,” Jagoda says.

Written by Caroline Covington.