Neal promises GOP tax package hearing
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. ( AP) — The Democratic lawmaker poised to lead the powerful tax-writing committee in the U.S. House said he would consider President Donald Trump’s proposal for a middle-income tax cut, but only if there are adjustments on tax rates for top income earners.
U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, of Massachusetts, is the ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee and is expected to take over as chairman of the panel when the Democrats assume control of the House in January after winning a majority of seats in Tuesday’s election.
Neal promised the committee would hold hearings on the $1.5 trillion tax cut pushed through by Republicans last year.
“The tax bill was written in 51 days without one hearing or without one witness offering testimony,” Neal said during a wide-ranging news conference in Massachusetts on Wednesday.
Republicans, he said, had expected the massive tax package to solidify their hold on the House, but the election results demonstrate it fell on “deaf ears” with voters.
Critics say the law is skewed to benefit wealthy taxpayers and corporations and is helping fuel record federal budget deficits.
Trump said last month he wanted Congress to cut taxes by about 10 percent for middle-income people after the midterm elections, though he has yet to offer specifics.
While describing Trump’s proposal as a “campaign tactic,” Neal added that the president’s request might be able to be fulfilled if the administration is prepared to make accommodations. Neal cited changes to the top individual rate as an example of what would help the bill pass.
Though Democrats will have a majority in the House, Neal said he was mindful of the reality that Republicans still control the Senate and Trump has a presidential veto.