House Approves $622 Billion Tax Package

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Fri, Dec 18 - 12:39 am EDT | 3 months ago by
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The House overwhelmingly passed a massive $622 billion tax package on Thursday as part of a bipartisan effort that will extend a number of tax breaks and credits. While the GOP has overwhelmingly expressed support for the bill’s passage, some Democrats have expressed concern that by raising the deficit, the bill would force the government to reduce spending and limit funding of crucial defense and domestic programs.

All but three Republicans voted for the bill while 77 Democrats backed the measure, resulting in a 318-109 vote for legislation that is expected to pass through the Senate and the White House. Under the provisions set forth by the bill, certain tax provisions would be permanently renewed while another set of tax breaks would be extended either through the end of next year or through 2019.

Republicans have applauded the bill as a positive step forward that would ensure a higher level of certainty for families and businesses. “How can families and local businesses count on tax relief each year as long as Congress can’t decide what’s permanent and what’s not? That confusion ends with this bill,” said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady in a statement.

Kevin Brady
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

However, a contingent of Democrats worries that the bill will merely serve to reduce the federal government’s capacity to invest in a number of defense and domestic spending programs. “For those who propose to have the increase in the deficit continue to drive down defense and domestic spending, this bill will almost certainly accomplish this,” said ranking House Ways and Means Committee Democrat Sandy Levin.

The bill is expected to face an easier time in the Senate thanks to shows of support by leaders on both sides of the aisle. The White House, too, has implied that it will back the tax package. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, the $622 billion cost of the bill will spread out over the next decade alongside an additional $58 billion in tax breaks to be included in the omnibus spending package that the House will likely vote on Friday.

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