Looking for a surefire issue to campaign on heading into midterms, House Republicans plan to introduce legislation later this month that would make permanent the temporary tax cuts offered to individuals, families and private businesses last year.
According to Reuters, the bill is widely seen as a reelection tool rather than serious legislation with any chance of becoming law.
The plan, coming on the heels of deep tax cuts already approved in December, underscores both the Republican Party’s steadfast confidence in tax cuts as a winning political tool and its recent shift away from fiscal policy conservatism.
House tax committee Chairman Kevin Brady says his panel and the White House are considering a measure that would make permanent $1.1 trillion in tax cuts that were approved on a temporary basis in December for individuals, families and private businesses. The cuts are set to expire in 2025.
Should the measure pass the House, it is likely to die in the Senate, where Republicans would need the support of Democrats in order to push it through.
Still, most policy experts see little chance of Brady's bill making it that far:
“This is largely a 2018 re-elect-driven effort for House Republicans,” said Rohit Kumar, a tax policy expert at accounting and consulting group PwC and former senior aide to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
In the off chance this new tax bill would hit the president’s desk, it will worsen the original tax law’s effect on the national deficit and debt, as predicted by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Florida Republican Representative Carlos Curbelo, who sits on Brady’s committee, called the bill “a good second chapter for tax reform that’s going to help American families.”
Republicans see the second tax bill as helping to focus voters on the growing economy, with Trump’s focus otherwise shifting haphazardly from immigration to tariffs, federal investigations, North Korea, U.S. NATO participation and Russia.