Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’ll be voting in tandem with his Republican colleagues in favor of what he calls the “once-in-a-generation” tax cut and tax simplification plan.
The U.S. House is expected to vote first on the measure today and then will send it on to the Senate, where it should also pass.
“I think every Republican is going to vote for it, except (Arizona’s John) McCain who’s going to be absent because of recovery,” Grassley says, “so that would be 51 to 48.” He predicts the bill will be signed into law by President Trump on Wednesday.
Critics say the legislation brings too many benefits for the very wealthy and too few to the middle class, but Grassley disagrees. “Every one of the seven tax brackets gets a tax cut,” Grassley says. “The progressivity, although we don’t have the final tables on this yet, but the tables for the House-Senate bill would’ve shown this, the progressivity is as good or better than existing law today.”
The legislation has been stripped of one element that related to the Affordable Care Act, which Grassley says is a plus. “One of the most regressive things in it, that tax on people that don’t want to buy Obamacare, that’s done away with,” Grassley says, “so that helps the progressivity of it as well.”
Opponents of the tax reform measure say it’s badly lopsided in favor of the ultra-rich and the rewards are far fewer for the middle class, however Grassley says that’s not the case. “The top one-half of one-percent of all the wage-earners in America, by income status, they’re going to pay 38-and-three-tenths percent of the income tax and have about 25 percent of the income,” Grassley says. “Now, that’s very, very close to where it is right now.”
Under the plan, Grassley says six-million lower-income people will no longer have to file federal income taxes. He adds, the middle class pays at the 25 percent rate now, which will be reduced to 22 percent under the plan, plus, he says it covers a much larger group of people than before. Families would also benefit as Grassley says the bill would increase the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000.