The House Ways and Means Committee on September 14th vetted legislation that includes roughly $1.2 trillion in tax cuts and is expected to be a part of the budget reconciliation bill that Democratic leaders hope to pass in the near future.
Committee members debated and offered amendments to the legislation for much of the day. Today’s public meeting was the committee’s third on the budget reconciliation bill, and legislation that is currently being vetted is expected to pass the Committee on Wednesday.
During today’s meeting, committee members proposed amendments to legislation that focuses on the following:
- Energy - The bill provides incentives encouraging investment and deploying of fuel cell, wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources;
- Childcare (e.g., the Child Tax Credit) – The bill provides a “social safety net” extending tax credits for children and childcare as well as caregivers and expanding the earned income tax credit;
- Infrastructure Financing – The bill makes the New Markets Tax Credit permanent and reinstating the Build America Bonds and advanced refunding bonds to provide financing to state and local governments;
- Housing – The bill increases the low-income housing tax credit and the rehabilitation tax credit;
- Superfunds – The bill reinstates a federal government program that funds the cleanup of toxic wastes;
- Prescription drugs and health insurance, including Medicaid – The bill allows the HHS Secretary to negotiate lower drug prices, providing immediate coverage for those in the Medicaid coverage gap and extending the expanded premium tax credits to lower health insurance costs.
Today’s meeting largely focused on provisions that cut taxes to the tune of $1.2 trillion. The committee is expected to debate legislation that increases taxes on Wednesday. Those tax increases are expected to raise roughly $2.1 trillion over ten years. On net, the tax-writing committee will produce legislation that raises roughly $900 billion over the next decade.
A cost breakdown for all the tax provisions is here.
Amendments Offered Today:
Committee Republicans offered 20 amendments to the legislation and none were accepted. Democrats on the panel did not offer amendments.
The House Ways and Means Committee is not the only House committee drafting legislation for the budget reconciliation bill. Currently, the goal is for all the House committees to complete their bills by September 15th and submit them to the House Budget Committee where they will be combined into one piece of legislation. That legislation will then be the subject of a House floor vote.
Certain House leaders want a floor vote on the budget reconciliation bill by September 27th so that the chamber can also vote on the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, which has already passed the Senate. More information on the infrastructure bill is here.
At this point, it is not clear if the House’s majority party has the votes to pass the budget reconciliation bill or the $1.2 Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. The reason: passage of one bill depends on the passage of the other and certain lawmakers disagree on which bill should be voted on first.
A lot of issues remain unresolved when it comes to the budget reconciliation bill. Congressional Democrats are the only members expected to support it and lawmakers within that group have disagreements over how high to raise taxes and which tax provisions should receive an increase.
This means changes to this legislation and the inclusion of other tax provisions are possible. These changes could occur after the House Ways and Means Committee completes its action on the bill. Amendments could be proposed during a House Rules Committee meeting that could usher in tax changes to the bill. At this point, it is not clear if that will occur, but it is possible.