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House Speaker Paul Ryan offers a press conference after the approval of the 2018 fiscal budget 216-212 at the Washington Capitol on October 26, 2017. EFE / Shawn Thew
House Speaker Paul Ryan offers a press conference after the approval of the 2018 fiscal budget 216-212 at the Washington Capitol on October 26, 2017. EFE / Shawn Thew

The House approves the budget and paves the way for tax reform

After having approved a budget project at the beginning of the month, the Senate modified some points and returned the proposal to the House, where this Friday…

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Every day lawmakers are one step closer to the longed tax reform.

After several language changes in the Senate, the House has re-evaluated the bill and has issued its approval with a low margin of votes (216-212), thanks to 20 Republicans who joined the Democratic front to oppose it, as CNN reported.

The Republican opposition focused on rejecting the measure of elimination of the popular State and Local Tax Deduction (SALT), which is contained under the tax reform.

Local and state tax deduction (SALT) allows taxpayers with detailed deductions to write off taxes on their property, as well as their state or local income taxes or general sales taxes.

The elimination of these deductions would affect 40% of tax filers who have an annual income of between $ 50,000 and $ 75,000, representing an estimated 7.6 million US households, according to a study conducted by the Association of Finance Officials of the Government.

Faced with the expected opposition, "the budget bill includes reconciliation laws that would allow the Senate to pass a tax reform with just a simple majority, instead of the 60 usual votes, to overcome an obstructionism," CNN continues.

Such approval would "cut" SALT deductions, and would help Republicans "raise more than a trillion dollars" to help pay the tax cuts for 10 years. According to CNN, this would be "a great source of revenue for their overall plan to reform the tax code."

According to the Democracy Now blog, Trump's proposed tax reform "would award billions of dollars in tax cuts to wealthier Americans, including the president's family and members of his administration."

Republicans like Leonard Lance of New Jersey demonstrated their discontent and the risk that would imply this reform for its citizens. "My solution is to take it off from the table," he said.

But the changes will not stop there. The Republicans in the House have announced that they will unveil the text of the reform bill in the coming weeks and that the changes it suggests will "upset members [of the party] and various constituencies."

According to House Ways and Means chairman Kevin Brady, the 20 opposition Republicans "made very clear" their stance toward the elimination of SALT deductions, including representatives of New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and California.

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