Despite being the most senior member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, Iowa’s Senator Chuck Grassley is not among the Congressional Republicans who will hash out a final tax bill. The Senate voted on December 6 to go to conference with House members, but Grassley revealed on Twitter this morning that he “was dropped” as a conferee.
Presumably GOP leaders want to distance themselves from Grassley’s recent comment that repealing the estate tax would reward “the people that are investing […] as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.” Those remarks have received massive nationwide media coverage, mockery, and condemnation.
Some Republicans had hoped the House would quickly send the Senate’s tax bill to President Donald Trump. However, in their unprecedented haste to rewrite massive legislation after an unfavorable report from the Joint Committee on Taxation, key GOP senators introduced errors in the bill approved over the weekend.
Notably, revised language on the corporate alternative minimum tax would increase taxes on many companies, sending business interests into “revolt.” Lily Batchelder, a law professor and former chief tax counsel for the Senate Finance Committee explained that issue in a series of tweets I’ve posted after the jump, along with a chart highlighting the key differences between the tax bills House and Senate Republicans have already passed. Other sloppily-drafted provisions “could be easily gamed” or “could open broad avenues for tax avoidance,” according to tax experts quoted by Politico’s Brian Faler.
Both bills would provide generous tax breaks to wealthy individuals while raising taxes on tens of millions of lower and middle-income households.
House Republican leaders have signaled they will agree to repeal the individual mandate to purchase health insurance, which was part of the Senate bill. By 2025, that provision would reduce the number of people with health insurance coverage by an estimated 13 million nationwide and by 125,600 in Iowa.