This afternoon the House passed, by a vote of 318-109, the “Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act of 2015” (PATH Act). The bill extends and makes permanent certain tax credits for individuals, families and businesses. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the PATH Act will cost $622 billion over 10 years, compared to the omnibus, which will cost $58 billion over the same period. While all 6 of NJ’s House Republicans voted in favor of the bill (Reps. LoBiondo, MacArthur, Smith, Lance, Frelinghuysen, and Garrett) the 6 NJ Democratic Reps. were split in how they voted for the bill: Reps. Donald Norcross, Albio Sires, and Bill Pascrell were 3 of 77 House Democrats to vote in FAVOR of the bill, while Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman, Frank Pallone, and Donald Payne were 3 of 106 House Democrats to vote AGAINST the bill.
From The Hill:
“Of the two year-end bills, the tax measure is more controversial with Democrats, with many fearing it will increase pressure to reduce spending by raising the deficit. The measure makes permanent several business tax breaks such as the research and development tax credit and enhanced small business expensing under section 179 of the tax code.
Still, while Democratic leaders opposed the tax package, they did not whip their members against it and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) acknowledged that it included tax measures supported by members of his conference.
Tax breaks that would be cemented include the expansions of the earned income tax credit, the child tax credit and the American opportunity tax credit, which were all created under President Obama’s stimulus law.
The measures also makes some GOP-backed reforms to the Internal Revenue Service in the wake of the controversy surrounding the IRS’s targeting of political groups, and includes a two-year freeze of ObamaCare’s medical-device tax.
A separate ObamaCare changing freezing the ‘Cadillac’ tax on high-cost insurance plans is included in the omnibus package.
Overall, House Republicans cast the measure as a step toward tax reform that would provide certainty for people and businesses.
‘How can families and local businesses count on tax relief each year as long as Congress can’t decide what’s permanent and what’s not? That confusion ends with this bill,’ said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX).
House Democrats argued that by raising the deficit, the bill would make it difficult for the federal government to make necessary investments in defense and domestic spending.
They noted that the tax cuts are not offset, and they criticized Republicans for not indexing for inflation the child tax credit, which helps working families.”