In Rare Show of Real Bipartisanship, Democrats Needed Republican Votes to Pass Temporary Repeal
The House of Representatives, in its 2nd-to-last vote before leaving for its Holiday recess, narrowly passed H.R. 5377, which included a 2-year repeal of the state and local taxes (SALT) with other components beyond SALT.
On final passage, the Yeas were 218 (with 5 Republican votes) and the Nays 206 (with 16 Democrats and the Independent) votes against.
The minimum number of votes needed to pass the bill was 216 votes (4 vacancies in the House), so those 5 Republican votes were needed for passage given the 16 leftist Democrats, including one member of the Squad, leader Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, voted against final passage.
Given Republican votes were needed to pass the bill, the House Democrats strongly supported a Republican Motion to Recommit (MTR), which included:
- Prevention of the SALT deduction cap repeal applying to taxpayers with annual income more than $100 million
- Raise deductions for first responders expenses
- Raise deductions for educators’ expenses
Normally Republican-sponsored MTRs fail, or pass by very close margins with a few Democrats crossing over to support the Republicans. This MTR vote count was different:
The MTR was approved by a 388-36 overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, but look at the two names highlighted in the Nays.
One won’t see this MTR vote in Casten’s or Underwood’s press releases, but voting with Squad member Ilhan Omar is something neither of the two Democrats representing portions of McHenry County want to brag about, not to mention being on a vote tally passed by 10x more than where they voted Nay.
Underwood said the following in a statement on passage of this bill:
“Before the Republican tax law took effect, taxpayers in our community were able to deduct all of their state and local taxes before calculating their federal tax bill—the average amount is over $14,000 and well over $20,000 for some in our community.
“Now they’re limited to just $10,000—a loss of thousands for middle class families. This bill would help middle class Illinois families who were unfairly harmed by the Republican tax law by allowing them to once again deduct all of their state and local taxes,”Lauren Underwood press release 12/19/19
While Casten has not yet issued a press release, his thread of tweets is transcribed below:
“Today, I voted for H.R. 5377 the Restoring Tax Fairness for States & Localities Act to finally undo some of the damage done by the disastrous Republican tax bill to my constituents back in IL-06, as well as, working, middle class families, and teachers across the country.
“This bill lifts the SALT [deduction] cap, doubles the teacher tax credit & creates a deduction for first responders. From the very first tax, we have included a deduction for state & local taxes for the simple reason that we shouldn’t tax people twice on their hard-earned income.
“Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 32 that the U.S. Constitution would give states ‘an independent and uncontrollable authority to raise their own revenues for the supply of their own wants.’
“What Hamilton understood is that certain services- roads, schools, fire departments, libraries- are better and more efficiently provided by local authorities. When we double tax that income, we create undue tension between federal and local authorities.
“That’s why I have fought all year for this moment to undo the GOP Tax Scam and restore the State and Local Tax Deduction for hard working people across this country.”Sean Casten via Twitter 12/19/19
Given this bill threatens the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Republican-controlled Senate will not take action on this legislation.
- H.R. 5377: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/5377
- Underwood Press release: https://underwood.house.gov/media/press-releases/underwood-s-legislation-reduce-taxes-middle-class-families-passes-house
- The Hill 12/19/19: https://thehill.com/policy/finance/475352-house-votes-to-temporarily-repeal-trump-salt-deduction-cap