A new, 10 percent middle-income tax cut is conditionally expected to be advanced in 2019, according to the House’s top tax writer. This timeline, although already largely expected on Capitol Hill, departs sharply from President Donald Trump’s original prediction that the measure would surface by November.
New Congress, New Tax Cut
“We expect to advance this in the new session of Congress if Republicans maintain control of the House and Senate,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Tex., said of the tax cut in an October 26 televised interview. However, President Trump said a couple of days before that a “resolution” would be introduced for the tax cut by the week of October 29.
Democratic lawmakers have been criticizing Trump’s announcement as nothing more than politically-driven rhetoric ahead of the November 6 midterm elections. Several top congressional Democrats have voiced intent to repeal, at least in part, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) (P.L. 115-97) enacted last December. While Republicans, on the other hand, want to continue building upon the TCJA’s tax cuts.
“What President Trump is looking at is a 10 percent cut focused on middle-class workers and families…he still believes middle-class families are the ones always in the squeeze,” Brady said on October 26. “We’ve been working with the White House and the Treasury on some ideas about how best to do it,” he added.
At this time, it is considered likely on Capitol Hill that Republicans will retain control of the Senate, but several predictions continue to float that the GOP will lose its House majority. Republicans would likely need to retain control of both chambers for any chance of approving further individual tax cuts or making permanent those enacted under the TCJA.
The House approved its “Tax Reform 2.0” package last month, which includes measures to make permanent the TCJA’s individual tax cuts and enhance various savings accounts and business innovation. The Senate has showed little interest in taking up the package as a whole before the end of the year, though consideration of the retirement and savings measure in the lame-duck session remains a possibility.
By Jessica Jeane, Senior News Editor