The House passed the budget on Thursday, a move that will pave the way for Republicans to work on passing a tax reform package.
The House passed the budget 216-212 featuring unanimous Democrat opposition and 20 Republican votes against it. The budget’s passage sets the stage for tax reform; Republican lawmakers remain desperate for a victory ahead of the 2018 midterm elections after Republicans failed on Obamacare repeal.
Now that the House passed the budget, they will move onto passing a 10-year, $1.5 trillion tax reform package that features massive tax cuts for small businesses and middle-class families. The Republican tax platform would lower the tax brackets to rates of 12, 25, and 35 percent and double the standard deduction for the average American.
Republicans view tax reform as a dramatic step towards revitalizing the economy and aiding middle-class families who have seen wages stagnate and witnessed jobs moving overseas. Republicans hope that the tax plan – which would cut corporate tax rates, simplify the tax code, and lower rates for Americans – will achieve over 3% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, a level of growth not witnessed during the Obama era.
Republican lawmakers from high-tax blue states such as Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), Peter King (R-NY), and Lee Zeldin (R-NY) voted against the measure. Republicans from high-tax, Democrat states have led opposition to the current tax proposal, which would eliminate the deduction for the state and local tax taxes (SALT). King and MacArthur argue that eliminating the local deduction might hurt middle-class families.
Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) tweeted on Wednesday night “I am voting No.”
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) cheered the budget’s passage through the House. Meadows said in a statement, “Today’s vote is an important step toward keeping the promise made in November to deliver a simpler and fairer tax code that grows our economy and works for American families rather than D.C. special interests. Bold, aggressive tax reform will be the best thing we can do to return power back to the people and rein in Washington’s out of control spending.”
Meadows added, “But this is not a time for celebration—now we have to finish the job. The American people couldn’t care less about messaging victories, party politics, or political infighting. The American people want to see results, and it’s time Congress get serious about delivering them—quickly. No more excuses. Let’s get tax reform done.”
Trump said that tax reform will be “rocket fuel for our economy.”
President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday, “Big news- Budget just passed!”
Big news – Budget just passed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2017