Big is the word that can best be used to describe the tax extenders package the House will vote on Thursday: big in policy, big in cost, big compared to past efforts and a big win for Republicans.
Lawmakers have not passed a significant tax bill since the 2012 fiscal cliff deal that staved off massive tax hikes. Since then, Republicans have expressed interest in making moves on taxes, but little happened until retiring Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., released his plan. After it failed to gain traction, Camp brokered a deal last year with then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to make 10 expiring tax provisions permanent, but the White House threatened to veto the package before it was finalized. When the tax extenders bill was released late Tuesday, it called for the permanent renewal of 22 tax breaks and several other sweeteners. In doing so, it also provided a down payment on a more ambitious overhaul of the tax code, a priority for Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., who started off the year in his dream job by replacing Camp as head of the House tax-writing panel. Ryan Touts GOP Riders in Spending Bill