Neal promises GOP tax pack­age hear­ing

Pawtucket Times - - REGION/OBITUARIES -

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.

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