ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) — Republicans are on the brink of sending President Trump their first bona fide legislative accomplishment, as both chambers of Congress prepare to pass tax reform on Tuesday.
The House of Representatives is expected to clear the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act conference report on Tuesday afternoon. While top Republicans say they expect the bill to easily pass, a familiar class of 13 moderates who opposed tax reform in the House the first time around are expected to remain opposed.
“I’m still going to be a no,” Rep. Dan Donovan, R-New York, said. “The changes in the SALT deduction actually don’t satisfy the needs of the people that I represent. It’s still a bill that’s going to give tax relief to other parts of America on the backs of New Yorkers. And so, I’m still going to vote no.”
Once the lower chamber approves the measure, the Senate is expected to quickly follow suit. If the legislation survives any potential Democratic procedural challenges in the upper chamber, the president could sign the bill as early as Wednesday.
With the GOP unable to send the American Health Care Act to the White House, passage of the tax overhaul would finally furnish a decisive legislative victory for the president, closing out one of Trump’s chief campaign promises just before Christmas. But Rep. Peter King, another New York Republican who plans to vote against the plan, says that Republican voters in his district won’t count the bill as a win for the president.
“People who voted for Trump are very disappointed,” King told reporters Monday evening. “It’s certainly unpopular in my district. That’s all I’m hearing from Republicans.”
The legislation maintains seven tax brackets, with the country’s wealthiest earners enjoying a top-rate decrease from 39.6 percent to 37 percent. It also dramatically cuts the corporate rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.
Republicans crafted the bill with the aim to simplify the tax code by cutting loopholes for special interests. But the new rules preserve many popular deductions, such as for mortgage interest, student loans, adoptions and charitable giving.
The measure also repeals Obamacare’s individual mandate, which requires people to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. That could lead to 13 million more Americans without health insurance, according to the Congressional Budget Office, though it would save $338 billion in federal health insurance subsidy payments over the next decade.
The bill, which carries an estimated $1.5 trillion price tag over 10 years, is not expected to win any Democratic support. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi points to a new analysis from the non-partisan Tax Policy Center that predicts 86 million people would see a tax increase compared to current law by 2027, while 83 percent of the anticipated benefits would be reaped by the wealthiest one percent of taxpayers.
“Republicans will vote to let the wealthiest one percent steal the future of the middle class in America,” Pelosi, D-Calif., stated. “The GOP tax bill will go down as one of the most scandalous, obscene acts of plutocracy ever.”
Rep. Kevin Brady, the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, says that analyses focusing on the back end of the 10-year window are misleading because many of the individual tax breaks expire in eight years.
“That’s just cherry-picking the numbers,” Brady said. “Look, we’ve just finished eight years of Washington spending your money. Let’s try eight years of you spending your money and making America competitive and then a future Congress can decide is that right for this country. My guess is they’re going to say people should keep more of what they earn.”
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