On Wednesday, the House achieved an uncommon feat by passing a roughly $79 billion tax cut package with broad, bipartisan support. This package aims to bolster the child tax credit for millions of lower-income families while enhancing three tax breaks for businesses. This blend of provisions delivers sought-after policy victories to lawmakers from both sides of the political spectrum.
Although the prospects for the bill becoming law remain uncertain as the Senate still needs to consider it, its passage in the House signifies a noteworthy breakthrough for a legislative body that has faced challenges in advancing consequential bills. The bill garnered a decisive vote of 357-70.
Speaker Mike Johnson expressed his backing for the bill on Wednesday morning after engaging with GOP lawmakers concerned about specific features, particularly the expanded child tax credit. Some also lamented the omission of addressing the $10,000 cap on property or state/local tax deductions. Johnson pledged to advance a bill addressing the cap, although no bill text exists yet, leaving the timing uncertain.
Highlighting the importance of the bill’s passage through the House Ways and Means Committee before reaching the full House, Johnson stated it exemplifies effective congressional operations.
House Republicans sought to restore full, immediate deductions for businesses investing in new equipment and domestic research and development expenses. They argue these investments foster economic growth and encourage companies to maintain operations within the United States.
Democrats focused on enhancing the child tax credit, incrementally raising the refundable portion, and adjusting the credit amount to grow temporarily with inflation. Estimates suggest households benefiting from these changes could see an average tax cut of $680 in the first year.
While some Democrats deemed the bill insufficient, others acknowledged the incremental progress it represents. Conversely, some Republicans criticized the expanded child tax credit as akin to “welfare.”
Despite dissent from conservative and liberal factions, a significant majority from both parties supported the bill. Proponents hope this strong bipartisan backing will spur action in the Senate.
Additionally, the bill enhances a tax credit for the construction or rehabilitation of rental housing for lower-income households. It addresses tax issues related to natural disasters and specific incidents like the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment.