Republicans love their tax law. Voters aren’t so sure.

President Donald Trump is sure to get plenty of applause during Tuesday’s State of the Union address when he mentions the $1.5 trillion tax cut he signed into law in December.

But with polls showing Republicans have yet to make the sale on the tax bill, it’s not clear how much the new law will help them in November.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a group with close ties to House GOP leadership, recently found that voters in battleground districts are more likely to think Republicans raised their taxes than cut them. And a recent Pew Research Center survey found that only around a third of adults thought the tax bill would help them and the country as a whole.

“It’s hard to envision a positive outcome in November if the middle class doesn’t think we cut their taxes,” said Corry Bliss, the Leadership Fund’s executive director.

If anything, the Continue reading “Republicans love their tax law. Voters aren’t so sure.”

Confusion and chaos ahead as new tax rules take immediate effect

The most sweeping tax code overhaul in a generation will soon head to President Donald Trump’s desk — and Republicans are enjoying a victory dance.

Now comes the real-world turmoil.

America’s new tax system will go into effect in just 12 days, and payroll companies are bracing for confusion as they figure out new withholding rules that will affect millions of American paychecks.

The Treasury Department and the IRS will have to quickly write new regulations to implement the new law, governing everything from the tax regime for businesses that don’t organize as corporations to the endowments of the nation’s elite universities and how multinational corporations are taxed on the profits they make abroad.

And while the vast majority of taxpayers would see a tax cut next year, Americans who are considering selling real estate or other types of capital assets, paying property taxes, taking out a mortgage or incorporating Continue reading “Confusion and chaos ahead as new tax rules take immediate effect”

Trump’s signature would end 3-decade wait for tax reform

For the large contingent of Washington supply-siders and tax cutters, the sweeping tax overhaul that President Donald Trump is poised to sign into law this week has been a generation coming — and the culmination of half a life’s work that started during Ronald Reagan’s 1980s.

Grover Norquist, arguably the best-known anti-tax activist in the country, started Americans for Tax Reform at then-President Reagan’s request to help marshal support for the 1986 tax overhaul. He’s been working ever since to rally support for more tax cuts.

House Speaker Paul Ryan for years said his dream job was to be House Ways and Means chairman, a position that would have allowed him to quarterback the sort of tax revamp that his mentor, the late Jack Kemp, helped get through Congress in 1986.

When he became speaker, Ryan said he was reluctantly passing the title of Ways and Means chairman, and the Continue reading “Trump’s signature would end 3-decade wait for tax reform”

Trump’s signature would end 3-decade wait for tax reform

For the large contingent of Washington supply-siders and tax cutters, the sweeping tax overhaul that President Donald Trump is poised to sign into law this week has been a generation in coming — and the culmination of half a life’s work that started during Ronald Reagan’s 1980s.

Grover Norquist, arguably the best-known anti-tax activist in the country, started Americans for Tax Reform at then-President Reagan’s request to help marshal support for the 1986 tax overhaul. He’s been working ever since to rally support for more tax cuts.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for years said his dream job was to be House Ways and Means chairman, a position that would have allowed him to quarterback the sort of tax revamp that his mentor, the late Jack Kemp, helped get through Congress in 1986.

When he became Speaker, Ryan said he was reluctantly passing the title of Ways and Means Continue reading “Trump’s signature would end 3-decade wait for tax reform”

Jones’ win adds urgency to GOP tax push

Democrat Doug Jones’ victory in the Alabama Senate race will give Republicans extra urgency to get tax reform legislation to President Donald Trump by next week.

Tuesday’s shocker conceivably gives more leverage to potential holdouts like Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), and will lead to more calls from Democrats and progressive groups to slow down the process.

Donald Luskin, chief investment officer for Trend Macrolytics, said that Republican Roy Moore’s loss in Alabama will be a big incentive for Republican leaders to “drive the negotiations to a conclusion.”

“It makes more urgent the need for the GOP to exploit its 2018 electoral map advantage in the Senate — tax cuts are the perfect trophy to bring the voters, now without the stench of Moore’s sexual misconduct scandals," he wrote in an analysis for investors Tuesday night.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said before the results rolled in Tuesday that Sen. Continue reading “Jones’ win adds urgency to GOP tax push”

Republicans strike compromise on mortgage interest deduction

House and Senate negotiators working on a compromise tax bill have agreed to cap the mortgage interest deduction at $750,000 for newly purchased properties, according to a GOP source.

That approach would split the difference between the tax bills that have passed the House and the Senate. The House proposal would only allow taxpayer to write off the interest on new mortgages of up to $500,000, while the Senate would keep the current policy of cutting off the deduction at $1 million.

The conference committee working on a final tax bill is scheduled to have its first meeting on Wednesday, but key GOP negotiators have said they hope to have a deal in place in the next day or two.

Republicans also need to come to a final decision on where to set the corporate tax rate, which both the House and Senate bills cut from 35 percent to 20 Continue reading “Republicans strike compromise on mortgage interest deduction”

Tax cuts alone won’t cover full cost of GOP plan, Treasury says

The Treasury Department said Monday that the GOP tax plan currently before Congress would need an assist from other Trump administration priorities to pay for itself.

Tax cuts alone aren’t enough, Treasury said in a one-page analysis, citing welfare reform and infrastructure spending as additional boosts to the economy.

The analysis assumes that an economy led by Republicans would boost revenues by $1.8 trillion over a decade — more than enough to pay for the roughly $1.5 trillion in tax cuts envisioned by Republicans.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has been saying for months that his department would produce an analysis that proved the tax cuts would be fully paid for, and other top Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have insisted they have no doubt that would be the case.

The White House drew some criticism earlier this year for assuming that economic growth would hit close Continue reading “Tax cuts alone won’t cover full cost of GOP plan, Treasury says”

Senate Republicans race to lock down tax votes

Senate Republicans launched a frenzied round of last-minute deal-making on Tuesday to persuade key blocs of holdouts on their tax overhaul — and it’s far from clear leaders can satisfy the diverging concerns.

On the same day that President Donald Trump heads to Capitol Hill to rally the GOP troops, Republican senators were scrambling to negotiate changes to the tax legislation ahead of key committee and floor votes later this week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), members of his leadership team, and key Senate Finance Committee Republicans were meeting Tuesday morning with Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) to work out Daines’ concerns on the bill’s treatment of so-called pass-through businesses.

Another critical Republican swing vote — Sen. Susan Collins of Maine — laid out her asks in an interview with POLITICO Tuesday.

Collins, who doesn’t believe the GOP should have included the repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate in Continue reading “Senate Republicans race to lock down tax votes”

Senate GOP making last-ditch changes to tax plan

Senate Republicans are rushing to change their tax overhaul just days before a planned floor vote, with GOP leaders trying to appease at least a half-dozen holdouts.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can lose only two votes and still pass the bill by week’s end. The last-minute modifications underscore the speed with which leadership is moving and the narrow margin for error on the party’s top legislative priority.

Two critical Republican swing votes, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Bob Corker of Tennessee, on Monday left open the possibility that they could vote against the tax plan in a key committee vote scheduled for Tuesday if changes weren’t made to their liking. That would tank the bill before it could reach the floor, putting more pressure on leadership to quickly make revisions.

Johnson and a fellow former businessman, GOP Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, are demanding more generous tax treatment for Continue reading “Senate GOP making last-ditch changes to tax plan”

Tax reform hangs in balance in critical week for GOP

It’s do-or-die time for Senate Republicans on tax reform.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) doesn’t appear to have locked down 50 votes for his party’s tax overhaul, with at least half a dozen GOP senators showing varying levels of concern about the legislation released earlier this month.

Yet the GOP leadership has a narrow window to push through its tax bill in the Senate before lawmakers become consumed with spending fights that could trigger a shutdown, not to mention a special election in Alabama that could flip a reliable Republican vote to a not-so-reliable one — or even a Democrat.

“I think in the end, we’ll get the votes. But it’s a process,” South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the third-ranking Senate Republican, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

The leadership is juggling objections from multiple pockets of the Senate Republican Conference and is running short of time Continue reading “Tax reform hangs in balance in critical week for GOP”

Senate GOP adding Obamacare mandate repeal to tax bill

Republicans are adding repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate to the latest version of their tax bill, according to several GOP senators, with several key swing votes saying they’re open to the idea.

Finance Committee Republicans decided to include repeal language in the package. The legislation was discussed at a closed-door party lunch meeting Tuesday and several Republican senators said no one spoke out publicly against repealing the mandate.

John Thune (R-S.D.) said adding mandate repeal could allow Republicans to include more middle-class tax relief in the tax bill, and that he was confident it could pass the Senate. The GOP views repealing the mandate as both a down payment on its campaign pledge to undo Obamacare and a source of revenue: Repeal would generate $338 billion to help pay for tax reform.

“It’s been whipped,” said Thune, a member of GOP leadership, adding it’s an idea that “we’ve Continue reading “Senate GOP adding Obamacare mandate repeal to tax bill”

Senate GOP adding Obamacare mandate repeal to tax bill, senators say

Republicans are adding repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate to the latest version of their tax bill, according to several GOP senators, with several key swing votes saying they’re open to the idea.

Finance Committee Republicans decided to include repeal language in the package. The legislation was discussed at a closed-door party lunch meeting Tuesday and several Republican senators said no one spoke out publicly against repealing the mandate.

John Thune (R-S.D.) said adding mandate repeal could allow Republicans to include more middle-class tax relief in the tax bill, and that he was confident it could pass the Senate. The GOP views repealing the mandate as both a down payment on its campaign pledge to undo Obamacare and a source of revenue: Repeal would generate $338 billion to help pay for tax reform.

“It’s been whipped,” said Thune, a member of GOP leadership, adding it’s an idea that “we’ve Continue reading “Senate GOP adding Obamacare mandate repeal to tax bill, senators say”

8 key differences between the dueling Senate and House tax bills

Who pays more under the Trump-House GOP tax plan?

The House Republican tax bill released Thursday would cut taxes by $1.5 trillion over a decade — but that doesn’t mean there was enough space for every taxpayer or company to be a winner.

The charitable sector, real estate, certain higher earners and even the technology and pharmaceutical industries might not fare so well under this bill. On the flip side, other taxpayers and retailers appear to come out ahead.

WHO COULD PAY MORE TAX OR EARN LESS

Some individual taxpayers: Certain taxpayers could conceivably pay more under the GOP plan. For instance, House Republicans propose taxing family income above $260,000 a year at 35 percent. Currently, that rate doesn’t kick in until income over $416,700, while income between $233,350 and $416,700 is taxed at 33 percent. The Tax Foundation also found that a typical family making $1 million a year would also see a tax increase. Still, those Continue reading “Who pays more under the Trump-House GOP tax plan?”

5 things to know about Trump’s tax plan

Though it broke little new ground, President Donald Trump’s tax reform outline underscores just how arduous a task overhauling the tax code could be for Republicans this year. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Gary Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council, handed out a one-page overview of the plan Wednesday — and told reporters that the administration had to fill in many of the key details that make overhauling the tax code so difficult that it’s happened only a handful of times over the last century.

Here are five things to know about the newest version of Trump’s tax plan:

What’s in it?

Trump released a couple tax plans during the campaign, with the most recent coming around seven months ago. Many of the details released Wednesday haven’t changed since that September plan, including proposals to cut the top tax rate for all businesses to 15 percent and to Continue reading “5 things to know about Trump’s tax plan”

Ways and Means’ Brady blasts effort to release Trump tax returns

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) on Monday blasted a Democrat’s proposal to use the committee’s ability to access tax records in order to release President Donald Trump’s tax returns.

Brady said that the proposal from Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) “misrepresents the legislative intent of that provision, which in fact creates confidentiality and privacy for Americans in their tax returns.”

“My belief is that if Congress begins to use its powers to rummage around in the tax returns of the president, what prevents Congress from doing the same to average Americans?” Brady added to reporters.

Pascrell, also a senior Ways and Means member, has proposed that Brady ask the Treasury Department for 10 years’ worth of Trump’s tax returns, a power granted to the Ways and Means chairman by the Internal Revenue Code. The committee could then vote to send the returns to the Continue reading “Ways and Means’ Brady blasts effort to release Trump tax returns”

Ways and Means’ Brady blasts effort to release Trump tax returns

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) on Monday blasted a Democrat’s proposal to use the committee’s ability to access tax records in order to release President Donald Trump’s tax returns.

Brady said that the proposal from Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) “misrepresents the legislative intent of that provision, which in fact creates confidentiality and privacy for Americans in their tax returns.”

“My belief is that if Congress begins to use its powers to rummage around in the tax returns of the president, what prevents Congress from doing the same to average Americans?” Brady added to reporters.

Pascrell, also a senior Ways and Means member, has proposed that Brady ask the Treasury Department for 10 years’ worth of Trump’s tax returns, a power granted to the Ways and Means chairman by the Internal Revenue Code. The committee could then vote to send the returns to the Continue reading “Ways and Means’ Brady blasts effort to release Trump tax returns”

Becerra vies for Ways and Mean post as Levin step aside

Voters ready to legalize pot for tens of millions across U.S.

Voters are poised to give a sweeping endorsement of legalizing marijuana, with ballot measures in five states on the verge of passing on Election Day, potentially setting the stage for loosening federal controls on the drug.

California — home to 40 million people and the world’s sixth-largest economy — is likely to relax its restrictions on pot for recreational use, according to the latest polls. And similar measures in Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada also have slight leads. Supporters believe a California victory, let alone a sweep in all five states, could be what they need to change the federal discussion about the drug, which is currently on par with heroin under U.S. law.

"I’ve been calling 2016 the game-over year,” said Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance, a pro-legalization group. “Because if California wins, that’s going to put enormous pressure on Congress to end marijuana prohibition. If Continue reading “Voters ready to legalize pot for tens of millions across U.S.”

Precious medal: Olympians close to getting tax break

U.S. Olympic medal winners appear closer to clearing a hurdle with the IRS.

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced Tuesday that the House would quickly consider a measure after recess that would exempt Olympians from paying taxes on their winnings, following committee approval. The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to take up the measure, introduced by Reps. Bob Dold (R-Ill.) and Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), when Congress returns to Washington in September.

Supporters of the bill, a version of which already passed the Senate, say the tax break is the least the federal government can do to honor athletes who represent the U.S. on the international stage, considering other countries do more to subsidize Olympic training. Americans who won gold at this summer’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro Olympics will receive a $25,000 bonus for each of the top medals from the U.S. Olympic Continue reading “Precious medal: Olympians close to getting tax break”