Washington, D.C. – Lawmakers in the House of Representatives achieved a rare feat on Wednesday by passing a $79 billion tax cut package with broad bipartisan support. The bill aims to enhance the child tax credit for millions of lower-income families and boost three tax breaks for businesses, marking a significant policy win for both political parties.
Despite the success in the House, the prospects for the bill becoming law are uncertain, as the Senate still needs to take it up. However, the bill’s passage by a vote of 357-70 represents a noteworthy breakthrough for a House that has struggled to pass consequential bills in recent times.
Speaker Mike Johnson threw his support behind the bill, addressing concerns from GOP lawmakers regarding certain features of the bill, particularly the expanded child tax credit. The bill, however, does not address the $10,000 cap on the total amount of property taxes or state or local taxes that consumers can deduct on their federal returns, a priority for Republican lawmakers from New York.
The bill also provides more flexibility for businesses in determining how much borrowing can be deducted, a point emphasized by Republican representative Jason Smith, chairman of the House ways and means committee. Democrats, on the other hand, focused on boosting the child tax credit, arguing that the bill would benefit millions of children from lower-income households.
While the bill received support from a significant majority from each party, it also faced criticism. Some Democrats argued that the bill provides billions of dollars in tax relief for the wealthy, while offering minuscule benefits for the poor. On the other hand, some Republicans likened the expanded child tax credit to “welfare,” expressing concerns about giving cash payments to people who do not pay taxes.
Overall, the bill represents a significant milestone for bipartisan cooperation in the House, but its fate in the Senate and eventual enactment into law remain uncertain. The bill not only addresses tax relief for families and businesses but also includes provisions for the construction or rehabilitation of rental housing targeted to lower-income households, an important aspect for states with acute housing shortages and soaring prices.