GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A blueprint for tax reform is emerging from the U.S. House of Representatives.
Republicans are promising lower rates for the middle class and relief for working Americans, but Democrats claim that the GOP budget resolution passed Thursday and the tax reform that is expected to be included with it will cut billions from Medicare, a trillion dollars from Medicaid and cut taxes for the wealthy.
The budget resolution is the first step in trying to get a the often-promised tax reform.
“That really is going to be the vehicle for us to get at tax reform,” U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, explained “What we’re doing is collapsing … the current 10 percent tax bracket down to zero. We’re going to take those next tax brackets and 15 percent is going to become 12, and then those higher tax brackets we’re going to see 25 and 35 percent, and there’s a real strong possibility we’ll keep that upper bracket 39.6 percent.”
Fellow Republican Rep. Fred Upton of St. Joseph, says it’s also about simplicity.
“It’s going to be targeted, rightly so, at the middle class,” he said. “Talking about doubling the standard deduction up to as much as $24,000 for a family. So you can again streamline, simplify your tax return but lower the rates.”
In a statement, Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint, expressed his very different view of the GOP tax plan:
“This extremely unfair budget makes it clear that Republicans want the middle class to pay more in taxes, all to give the wealthiest Americans another huge tax break. Billionaires like Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump are doing just fine, they don’t need another tax cut. Instead, Congress should be focusing on tax relief for hardworking Michigan families.”
With both chambers of Congress moving on a budget resolution, it would be possible to insert the tax reform and get it passed in the Senate with a simple majority rather than the 60 votes otherwise required. That happens through a process called reconciliation.
No matter what side of the argument you are on, it is important to keep in mind that changes to the plan are inevitable and passage is not.
Lawmakers still have to come up with a final plan that can pass both the House and Senate.