WASHINGTON (AP) – House Democrats have unveiled a sweeping proposal for tax hikes for the big business and rich to fund President Joe Biden’s $ 3.5 trillion rebuilding plan as Congress moves forward to shape the sweeping package that affects almost all aspects of domestic life.
The proposed maximum tax rate would drop back to 39.6% for individuals with incomes greater than $ 400,000 or $ 450,000 for couples, and would decrease to 39.6% for wealthier Americans with adjusted incomes greater than $ 5 million a year a tax of 3% is levied. For large corporations, the proposal would raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 26.5% for incomes over $ 5 million, slightly less than the president’s target of 28%.
Overall, the tax increases are in line with Biden’s own proposals and would bring about the most substantial changes to the tax code since the Republicans cut taxes with then-President Donald Trump in 2017. But the Democrats are pushing forward.
Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee on Taxation, said Monday the proposals, taken together, would “expand opportunities for the American people and aid our efforts to build a healthier, more prosperous future.” . “
It’s an opening offer at a daunting moment for Biden and his allies in Congress as they put together the massive package that is expected to become one of the largest single domestic policies in decades. The president’s “Build Back Better” agenda includes spending on childcare, health care, education, and strategies to combat climate change. It’s an ambitious endeavor on par with the Great Society or the New Deal.
Republican critics criticize the sweep of Biden’s plan, suggesting that it is leaning towards Western European-style socialism, and in particular they oppose the taxes required to pay it and are reluctant because he approved them a few years ago GOP tax cuts would reverse.
Senate Republican Chairman Mitch McConnell said the proposal was “the last thing American families need.” All GOP legislators are expected to vote against.
Republicans are largely sidelined, however, as Democrats rely on a budget process that allows them to endorse the proposals themselves if they can muster their slim majority in Congress.
Democrats run out of votes to pass Biden’s agenda as they split the House and Senate just under 50-50 and Vice President Kamala Harris is the tiebreaker when there is no Republican support. The leaders of the Democrats in Congress have set themselves the goal for Wednesday of having the bill drafted in the committees.
A Democratic senator, vital to the bill’s fate, says the cost must be cut to $ 1 trillion to $ 1.5 trillion in order to win his support.
Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va., has suggested that it is time for a “strategic pause,” warning that Congress “no way” has the goal of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, to end September will reach. given his huge differences with the Liberal Democrats over how much to spend and how to pay for it.
“I can’t support $ 3.5 trillion,” Manchin said on Sunday, highlighting his opposition to raising the corporate tax rate above 25%, a figure he believes will keep the US globally competitive.
Some are not alone as other centrist lawmakers have raised concerns. Unruly Democrats from highly taxed, heavily Democratic states like New York, New Jersey and California are pushing for the $ 10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions imposed by the 2017 Trump Act to be lifted. Neal announced Monday that the issue is under serious scrutiny.
Finding compromises will be a daunting project as progressives, including Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Look for the most robust package possible. As chairman of the budget committee that helped draft the bill, Sanders noted that he and other members of the Liberal flank originally called for an even more robust package of $ 6 trillion.
“This isn’t a specific number to me, but it does make sure we meet right now,” said Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., A member of the House leadership. “The pandemic has shown us that we cannot continue to have an economy of the haves and the dispossessed.”
The White House welcomed the interim tax plan, which keeps Biden’s promise not to tax anyone who earns less than $ 400,000. The proposal “is making significant strides to ensure that our economy rewards work, not just wealth,” said deputy press secretary Andrew Bates.
The House of Representatives, Senate and White House are working together to coordinate their plans before this month’s deadlines, though some differences are emerging that need to be resolved.
The House of Representatives’ tax proposal was tabled as a potential $ 2.9 trillion, a preliminary estimate – but it would go a long way towards paying off the $ 3.5 trillion legislation. The White House is betting on long-term economic growth from the plan to generate an additional $ 600 billion to make up the difference.
Much of the revenue would come from higher corporate and high earning taxes, increasing the individual tax rate from its current 37% to 39.6%.
With wealthy individuals in mind, Neal is proposing an increase in the top tax rate on capital gains for those earning $ 400,000 or more a year, from the current 20% to 25%. Inheritance tax exemptions, doubled to now $ 11.7 million for individuals under the Trump Tax Act of 2017, would fall back to $ 5 million.
It also proposes increases in the tax rate on tobacco products and a new tax on non-tobacco nicotine supplied with e-cigarettes.
The Democrats’ broader draft calls for billions to be spent on rebuilding infrastructure, combating climate change, and expanding or rolling out a range of services, from free pre-kindergarten to dental, vision and hearing aid care for the elderly.
The congressional committees are striving to complete their work to meet the schedule for this week by Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., to draft the bill. Pelosi is aiming for a House vote by October 1, which would then go to the Senate. That is close to the September 27 schedule for the vote on a leaner infrastructure plan, favored by moderate lawmakers.
Associated Press authors Hope Yen and Josh Boak contributed to this report.