Speaker Johnson Touts Bipartisan Tax Bill As Conservative Win

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., has announced his support for a bipartisan tax deal that will be voted on soon. The Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act is significant legislation to revitalize conservative pro-growth tax reform. One of the key benefits of the bill is its termination of a wasteful COVID-era program, which will save taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.

Johnson commended Chairman Smith for successfully guiding this bipartisan bill through the committee with a decisive vote of confidence. He also highlighted the importance of the bottom-up process that was followed, emphasizing how Congress should ideally create laws.

The bill results from negotiations between House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith, R-Mo., and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore. It aims to temporarily expand the child tax credit and revive crucial tax deductions for small businesses, mainly research and development conducted within the U.S.

Although the bill is bipartisan, it has encountered resistance from an unusual coalition of conservative and moderate Republicans, each citing distinct grievances. Conservative members of the GOP have voiced worries over the possibility of illegal immigrants benefiting from the child tax credit, a claim that Chairman Smith strongly refutes.

On the other hand, moderates, especially those representing suburban areas outside major cities like New York City and Los Angeles, have expressed frustration over the bill’s lack of attention to state and local tax (SALT) deduction caps. They argue that this issue is critical for their swing district constituents and could impact House Republicans’ chances of maintaining their slim majority in the upcoming elections.

Both factions are also dissatisfied with the decision by House GOP leaders to present the tax bill for a vote using a suspension of the rules. This strategy permits the legislation to skip committee and procedural votes, yet it necessitates a two-thirds majority for approval instead of just a simple majority.

This decision was made in response to Freedom Caucus members repeatedly using rule votes to obstruct GOP priorities as a protest against Republican leadership’s decisions.

Despite the criticisms and pushback, the tax bill is expected to pass with comfortable bipartisan support. In addition to GOP concerns, some progressives have expressed dissatisfaction, arguing that the child tax credit provisions do not go far enough.

Initially, four New York Republicans expressed their intention to vote against a procedural motion for a GOP-led bill unrelated to the SALT deduction. Nonetheless, reports indicate that they subsequently obtained a promise from Speaker Johnson to introduce a distinct bill focusing on the SALT issue to the floor soon.