The bill passed 227-205 on mostly party-line vote, with 13 Republicans joining a united Democratic block against the measure.
All four of Washington’s Republican U.S. House members voted to pass the GOP tax bill on Thursday, while all six of the state’s Democrats opposed it.
The bill passed 227-205 on a mostly party-line vote, with 13 Republicans joining a united Democratic block against the measure.
The House bill would cut the 35 percent corporate tax rate to 20 percent, while reducing some personal taxpayers’ rates and erasing and shrinking deductions for individuals. Projected federal deficits would grow by $1.5 trillion over the coming decade.
Washington is one of a handful of states where taxpayers could feel the brunt of a provision that eliminates sales and local tax deductions on federal returns.
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The tax-code rewrite was called “must-pass legislation” by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane. “This is a historic moment,” McMorris Rodgers said Thursday. “It’s been 31 years since the tax code was fundamentally reformed.”
Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, sits on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.
“Throughout this process, I have held every proposed idea to the standard of will this plan create jobs in America, increase paychecks, and put more money in the pockets of hard-working Americans,” Reichert said on Thursday. “I am proud to say, this plan meets this high standard and as a result it will change lives, energize our country, and get our economy booming again.”
When the bill was introduced earlier this month, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Vancouver, didn’t initially voice her support, saying she needed to better understand how the the legislation would impact her district. Herrera Beutler has previously worked to make the sales-tax deduction permanent.
On Thursday, Herrera Beutler said in a statement that the elimination of the sales-tax deduction won’t hit her district hard because, “Seven out of 10 Southwest Washington residents don’t use this deduction — or any itemized deduction.”
She added, “I proudly voted today to help middle-income Southwest Washington families keep almost $2,000 more of the money instead of paying it in taxes, and to boost their paychecks by $2,672 each year.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle, summed up the Democratic response, calling the bill a “tax scam.”
“Instead of closing corporate loopholes, Republicans are slashing the state and local tax (SALT) deduction, the student loan interest deduction, medical expense deductions — everything on which working families rely for tax relief.” Jayapal said.
The U.S. Senate version of the tax plan is still in the Finance Committee. The Senate proposal appeared to hit a snag Wednesday when some Republican senators voiced concerns about the bill in its current form.
The Senate version includes the elimination of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, to help pay for the tax cuts.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.