Recent months have seen a lot of division and infighting among Republicans. This is especially true of establishment Republicans.
Yet according to The Washington Examiner, Republicans in the House have come together and advanced a major legislative goal for the party. A $1.1 trillion budget plan for 2018 was passed, making tax reform that much easier to achieve.
The budget, called the “Building a Better America Plan,” passed by a 17 vote margin on Thursday. Every Democrat was opposed to it, along with 18 Republicans voting against it.
The budget is a dream for Republican voters and lawmakers. It claims to be able to balance the budget within 10 years in part by killing $200 billion in expenses.
House Budget Committee Chair, Diane Black (R-TN), says it represents the “top priority” of the House. “Balancing the budget by 2027 is our top priority. For too long, both parties in Washington have failed to abide by a simple principle that all American families and small businesses do, that we must live within our means. Balancing the budget requires us to make some tough decisions but the consequences of inaction far outweigh any political risk we may face.”
Yet, as always, Democrats adamantly opposed the right-leaning budget. US Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) claimed the budget would devastate those in need: “These aren’t just paper cuts. These are huge, huge cuts that would cause enormous damage in the lives of our children, students, veterans and other Americans.”
It is likely that part of the reason Democrats oppose the budget has little to do with the supposed effect on the needy in America and more to do with the tax reform legislation that the GOP will want to tag onto the budget. Doing so would only require 51 votes for tax reform to pass in the Senate, which would prevent Democrats from utilizing the filibuster.
Proposed tax reform measures include dropping the corporate tax rate to 20 percent, minimizing many individual taxes, expanding the child tax credit, and completely eliminating certain deductions such as state and local tax deductions.
Democrats, like US Rep. John Yarmouth (D-KY), claim this benefits the wealthy more than anyone: “It’s not going to help the people that need the help. It’s going to give more money to the people who occupy one of the strongest economic positions in a country with the greatest disparity of wealth in the world.”
Yet Republicans rightly argue that such measures would be an enormous boost for an economy that had stagnated under former-President Barack Obama. Lowering corporate taxes would incentivize corporations to keep their operations in the US, allowing for greater job creation and cheaper goods which benefits everyone, not just the wealthy.
House passed $1.1 trillion budget plan for 2018. Will we see tax reform this session?
US Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA) believes this budget will put the US economy back on the right track for a change: “If you think the tax code as it exists today is a ridiculous compilation of confusing provisions stitched together by a patchwork of Congresses over the last 40 years, you can vote for fundamental reform.”
He went on to say that such a budget would put America back on top. “If you are tired of the fact that America used to be number one in the world in terms of tax competitiveness and now we are at the bottom of the list and you want to take America back to being number one, you can vote for that, too. I happen to put myself in that category,” Woodall said.
Though the new budget still has a way to go before being implemented, it does represent a major step forward toward tax reform and helping to grow an economy that is thriving under Trump. Let’s hope fiscally irresponsible Democrats and turncoat Republicans don’t kill the budget in the Senate.