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September 28, 2018
2018-1922

Tax reform permanency bill passed in 2.0 effort

On September 28, 2018, the House approved, as part of the Tax Reform 2.0 package, the Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts of 2018 (H.R. 6760) to make permanent individual and small business tax cuts under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that expire at the end of 2025. The vote was 220-191.

Democrats opposed the TCJA last year, though three voted in favor of H.R. 6760 today: Reps. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) — both of whom are running for a Senate seat — along with Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA), who won a special election to Congress this year. The 10 Republicans who voted against the bill today are from high-tax states and oppose the provision to make permanent the $10,000 annual limit on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction.

Other TCJA provisions that would be made permanent under the bill include the:

(1) 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37% income tax rate brackets

(2) 20% deduction for the qualified business income of pass-through entities

(3) doubled exemption from the estate tax

(4) increased Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) exemption amount

"Now that the high taxes and uncompetitive regulations are gone, we're on the open highway again. It's critical that we keep this strong momentum going — especially for Americans who were hit hardest by the Great Recession," House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) said. "That's what the legislation before us today is all about. By making the new code permanent for families and small businesses, the Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act will keep America's economy booming."

Some Republicans noted on the House floor that some provisions could not be made permanent when the TCJA was passed last year because of the constraints of the budget reconciliation process.

Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) focused his floor remarks on the $631 billion 10-year cost of the bill, which he said is borrowed money that will pass debt on to future generations and threaten Social Security and Medicare.

On September 27, the House approved the two other Tax Reform 2.0 bills with greater Democratic support: the Family Savings Act of 2018 (H.R. 6757), which includes retirement and savings provisions; and the American Innovation Act of 2018 (H.R. 6756).

None of the bills are expected to be taken up in the Senate prior to the midterm elections. Retirement provisions are seen as having the best chance of being enacted during the post-election lame-duck session.

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