Senate Democrats Outline Principles for Bipartisan Tax Reform

In an August 1 letter to President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Finance Committee (SFC) Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, Senate Democrats outlined their conditions for working with Republicans on passing bipartisan tax reform legislation. The letter, spearheaded by Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., was signed by 45 of the 48 members in the Senate Democratic caucus.

The letter highlighted three principles that Senate Democrats stated are “prerequisites to any bipartisan tax reform effort.” These principles include no “tax cuts for the top 1 percent” and no deficit-financed tax cuts at the individual and corporate levels. Additionally, Senate Democrats are requiring no movement of legislation in the Senate through the budget reconciliation process.

“Only regular order allows for a bipartisan effort and successful, lasting reform,” Democrats wrote. Republican senators last week had outlined in a joint statement with the Trump administration their intent to move tax legislation through regular order, which would require 60 votes to pass legislation if also referring to the actual floor vote, rather than just committee consideration (TAXDAY, 2017/07/28, C.2).

Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., spoke on August 1 to how important middle-class and small business tax cuts are to pro-growth tax reform. Ryan issued a statement about the launch of the Middle-Class Growth Initiative, a project by the American Action Network (AAN). The AAN will invest $5 million during the month of August to campaigns that will be dedicated to the passage of a simplified tax code and tax cuts for the middle-class and small businesses.

“It’s time to unleash the full potential of the American economy by creating a tax code that actually works for the middle class. A simpler, fairer tax system that puts working families first will strength our economy and generate more jobs,” Ryan said in the statement.

By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Staff

Letter from Senate Democrats Regarding Bipartisan Tax Reform

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