House Republicans unveiling their 429-page tax reform bill Thursday morning promised it would bring simplicity and prosperity to all.
“On net, everyone’s better off,” Rep. David Brat (R-VA) enthused to reporters in the hallway outside the room where lawmakers were briefed on the bill.
But like the current tax system, the House GOP plan would have winners and losers.
The draft released Thursday lowers the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent, nearly doubles the standard deduction, and keeps a loophole for hedge fund managers that President Trump had promised to eliminate.
To partially make up the cost, the proposal gets rid of a host of deductions—including those for medical expenses, moving expenses, hiring veterans, investing in poor neighborhoods, alimony, employee achievement awards, adoptions, the interest paid on student loans, most electric cars, and state and local taxes—while putting new limits on several others, like the interest paid on home mortgages.
Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY) urged his colleagues and the press not to sweat these details. “I’m looking at the plan overall,” he said. “If you pick out a part and only look at one thing, one thing could look great, but the elimination of other things might diminish the importance of that. Or something might look bad, but when you see the other benefits people get, it could be okay.”
Yet a firestorm of criticism began to ignite as soon as details of the plan began to leak out earlier this week, with major outside organizations on the left and right announcing their opposition to the bill. Here are the five most controversial provisions tucked into the text that could doom Republicans’ top legislative goal.
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