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Democrats Lay Down Conditions For US Tax Reform Support

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

02 August 2017

Democrat senators have urged the Trump Administration and Senate leadership to adopt a transparent, bipartisan approach to tax reform.

In a letter signed by 45 senators, the Democrats outlined three key policies that would have to be included to garner Democrat support. These are that legislation must provide tax relief for middle-class families without new giveaways for the richest one percent, that tax changes must be fiscally responsible, and that tax reform legislation is passed through regular order, rather than the fast-track reconciliation process.

The letter said that Democrats would not support any tax reform plan that includes tax cuts for the top one percent. It suggested that the wealthiest individuals had already seen "outsized benefits from recent economic gains while working-class wages have remained stagnant." It also said that they would not support any deficit-financed tax cuts which would endanger critical programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, or "other public investments for the future."

Democrats were also critical of the possibility of Republicans using the legislative process known as reconciliation to pass tax reform. Reconciliation allows certain tax, spending, and debt limit legislation to be expedited through Congress. The process isn't subject to filibuster and the scope of any amendments is limited.

"Reconciliation is just a tool to jam through partisan short-term tax cuts that would result in economic uncertainty and instability and significantly increase our budget deficit," said the senators. "Only regular order allows for a bipartisan effort and successful, lasting reform."

TAGS: individuals | tax | investment | budget | United Kingdom | legislation | tax reform

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