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GOP Decries Debt While Introducing Bill to Make Trump Tax Cuts Permanent

The extension would deliver an average tax cut of $175,710 to the richest 0.1 percent, according to one estimate.

Rep. Michael McCaul speaks during a press conference on March 1, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

A group of more than 70 House Republicans introduced legislation this week that would make elements of the 2017 Trump tax cuts permanent, delivering a huge windfall to the rich and choking off more federal revenue at a time when Republican fearmongering over the national debt is at a fever pitch.

Led by Reps. Vern Buchanan (R-Florida) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the TCJA Permanency Act, would cement into federal law tax cuts for individuals that are set to expire at the end of 2025.

The original 2017 tax law, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, made most of its corporate tax provisions permanent. In a statement Wednesday, the Biden White House said Trump and congressional Republicans “deliberately sunset portions of their tax giveaway” in order to “conceal how much their plan added to the debt.”

According to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis released last year, extending the individual provisions of the Trump-GOP tax law would cost around $2.2 trillion through 2032. A separate Tax Policy Center analysis estimated that the extension would deliver an average tax cut of $175,710 to the richest 0.1%.

“It’s no surprise that the House majority wants to spend trillions of dollars to extend the Trump tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations — but it’s absolute hypocrisy from the same members who are pushing us to a debt limit crisis on claims they care about the deficit,” said Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative.

“Congress should be working together to invest in worker and family priorities and increase taxes on the rich — not give them another handout,” Owens added.

The House Republicans unveiled their legislation as they’re continuing to obstruct efforts to raise the nation’s borrowing limit in a bid to secure deep cuts to food aid, healthcare, and other critical social programs, claiming such spending reductions are necessary to address the rising national debt.

“The national debt is over $31 trillion,” McCaul tweeted last month. “We can’t afford to hand that down to our children.”

In a recent opinion column, Buchanan called the national debt a “ticking time bomb,” not mentioning that his party’s push to extend tax cuts for the rich would contribute to the total.

“The same Republicans who claim we can’t ‘afford’ to invest in affordable housing, better healthcare, and accessible child care aren’t blinking an eye at the fact their push to extend the Trump tax giveaways for the ultra-wealthy would add trillions of dollars to the federal deficit,” Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.), the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, told MSNBC on Wednesday.

“Republicans will cut taxes for the mega-rich and well-connected while holding our economy hostage to force punishing cuts to programs American families rely on — that should tell you everything you need to know about Republicans’ priorities,” Boyle added.

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