The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday cleared the way to begin drafting a $ 3.5 trillion spending bill that will cap the Republican tax bill for state and local tax deductions of $ 10,000 supposed to facilitate – something that got a lot of attention in New Jersey.
The 220-212 votes also paved the way for the approval of a bipartisan infrastructure bill worth $ 1 trillion next month, which the Senate has already passed and covers at least $ 12.3 billion for New Jersey, plus money , which could be used to fund the $ 11.6 billion Gateway tunnel over the Hudson River and the expansion of Amtrak’s passenger service through New Jersey to the Lehigh Valley and Scranton, Pennsylvania.
But the passage was delayed until New Jersey MP Josh Gottheimer, D-5th Dist., And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Agreed that there would finally be a vote on the infrastructure bill next month would, separate from the larger expenditure account.
The budget decision gave lawmakers the go-ahead to draft a spending bill that included such democratic priorities as allowed Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices, fund childcare and community college, taxes for families of the lower and lower Middle class through an expanded child tax credit, measures to combat climate change, and protect millions of unauthorized immigrants from deportation.
The bill would also allow Congress to increase the deduction for state and local taxes. The current cap disproportionately affects New Jersey and other high-tax countries, most of which send billions of dollars more to Washington than they receive in services.
The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, an advanced research group, said 80% of New Jersey’s 1.9 million residents who would benefit from the cap lifting had an average income of $ 216,000 or less, despite 72% of the Benefits to the richest would be 5%.
The House of Representatives’ August hiatus was temporarily shorted and lawmakers called back to Washington this week after Gottheimer and eight other Democrats threatened to reverse a two-pronged solution.
The plan called on the progressives to support the infrastructure legislation, which included few of their priorities, with the moderates, in turn, voting in favor of the larger spending bill, which would be funded in part by tax hikes for corporations and the richest Americans, the GOP’s biggest beneficiaries Tax law.
The idea of passing two bills, one with Republican backing and one with Democratic-only backing, in a trial that blocked a Republican filibuster in the Senate, was by President Joe Biden and Democratic leaders in both Houses of Congress along with progressive lawmakers and theirs Allies have been adopted.
“Bridges, trains and roads mean little without a meaningful human infrastructure,” said Dena Mottola Jaborska, associate director of New Jersey Citizen Action. “We have to invest in both as urgently and comprehensively as possible.”
But Gottheimer and his allies insisted that the two laws be separated. This angered progressives, who feared the moderates would object to the higher spending and tax hikes once they passed bipartisan legislation. For that reason alone, the progressives said they would not vote for the infrastructure bill alone, which doomed the measure to failure.
Gottheimer said after the vote that he had achieved his goal as the deal included voting on the infrastructure draft by Sept. 27, with or without the larger spending measure.
“As roads and bridges collapse in our country, this agreement fulfills what we set out to do: secure an independent vote for the bipartisan infrastructure law, send it to the president’s desk and then examine the reconciliation package separately,” said Gottheimer .
However, with House and Senate leaders planning to finalize drafting of the major spending bill around September 15, both bills could be voted on at the same time.
And Gottheimer’s tactics didn’t go well with some of the other Democrats in the house, including his North Jersey neighbor, Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr.
“The delays and grandstands we saw this week were neither helpful nor productive,” said Pascrell, D-9th Dist. “The priority must be to ensure that we can get full support for American families. Congress can go for a walk and chew gum and say goodbye to a package deal at the same time. An agenda to build better for all Americans depends on it. “
Some moderate Democrats also called out Gottheimer. Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa., Told the Washington Post that infrastructure legislation could not be passed without the major expense bill. So why ask for a vote that cannot be won.
“Do you just want to dig in your heels and say, ‘I’m not doing anything’?” Wild said the Post, referring to Gottheimer and his allies. “That’s just stupid.”
Both bills received strong support from the American people, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll. The infrastructure accounting was preferred from 65 to 28% and the larger expenditure accounting from 62 to 32%.
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Jonathan D. Salant can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him at @JDSalant.
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