House Budget Committee Hearing Set to Examine Tax Reform Law

The House Budget Committee has scheduled a February 27 hearing to examine Republicans’ tax reform law. Committee Democrats are expected to largely criticize the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) (P.L. 115-97) for favoring wealthy taxpayers while Republican members are likely to tout the TCJA’s upward economic effects.

GOP Tax Law

“One year after President Trump and congressional Republicans enacted their tax cut for the wealthy and large corporations, none of their promised results are happening,” so begins a February 25 Democratic House Budget Committee prehearing document. “The Members of Congress have the responsibility to fully understand the tax law’s effects and help redirect the nation’s tax and fiscal policy in the right direction.”

The Democratic prehearing document noted some of the following criticisms of certain TCJA consequences:

  •  tax cuts heavily tilted toward corporations and wealthy taxpayers;
  •  $1 trillion in stock buybacks in 2018;
  •  encourages sending factories and jobs overseas; and
  •  created more special-interest tax breaks and “loopholes.”

However, House Budget Committee Republicans praised the TCJA in a February 25 press release for providing broad socioeconomic tax cuts as well as economic growth. “The [TCJA] law delivered much-needed tax relief to workers, families, and businesses – unleashing job creation, investment, and economic growth,” the press release said. Additionally, Republican members of the committee highlighted some of the following statistics related to the TCJA:

  •  increases in 80 percent of wage earners’ take-home pay;
  •  middle-income tax cuts;
  •  unemployment levels lowest since the 1960s; and
  •  3.1 percent increase in wages and salaries – the largest increase in over 10 years.

TCJA Hearing Witnesses

The following witnesses have been invited to testify at the February 27 hearing:

  1.  Caroline Bruckner, professor, American University’s Kogod School of Business,
  2.  William G. Gale, co-director, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center,
  3.  Chye-Ching Huang, director of federal fiscal policy, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and
  4.  Lana Pol, president, Geetings, Inc.

By Jessica Jeane, Senior News Editor

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