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House passes $631B individual tax cut extension before leaving to campaign

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The House passed legislation to extend individual tax cuts on Friday before adjourning to campaign for re-election. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

By Ed Adamczyk, UPI

The House of Representatives passed a $631 billion permanent extension of individual tax cuts on Friday.

The legislation, which passed by 220 to 191, is meant more to be a campaign plank in upcoming elections than a start of a legislative effort, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. It will give Republican members of the House an opportunity to promote their involvement in the law's passage as they run for re-election. The bill is not expected to be considered in the Senate until 2019, and the House is not scheduled to be in session again until after Election Day.

Three Democrats supported the bill, including two who are running for Senate seats, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Rep. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev. Ten Republicans voted no, all members from California, New York and New Jersey who opposed the $10,000 cap on the deduction for state and local taxes in the 2017 tax law.

House Republicans regard the landmark tax law as an element in the improvement of the economy and believe a permanent extension of some temporary provisions is a way to build on the law, The Hill reported on Friday. On Thursday, the House passed bills to expand retirement-savings incentives and tax breaks for startup businesses, again more for campaign ammunition than an expectation of enactment into law.

The bill passed on Friday removes the 2025 expiration date from the most important individual tax cuts, including reduced tax rates, a larger standard deduction and child tax credit, the enlarged estate-tax exemption, a 20 percent deduction for income of partnerships and other similar businesses, and limits on the deduction for state and local taxes.

"I wanted to make the tax cuts for individuals and small businesses permanent in the first place," said Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., after the vote. "The reality is the economy is booming because we are leaving more money in businesses and families and people don't put money under their mattress. They put it to work."

Democrats have sufficient argument with the tax bill to take to voters, the Journal reported. The Democrats argue that an excessive amount of tax savings is going to upper-income households, and that the elevated budget deficit caused by the tax cut will be used by Republicans to cut Social Security and Medicare spending.

"Most American people have understood that their lives have not gotten better from the last tax cut," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash. "I don't see anybody running on the tax cut.

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: House passes $631B individual tax cut extension before leaving to campaign
House passes $631B individual tax cut extension before leaving to campaign
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U.S. - U.S. Daily News
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