Top Finance Republican Blasts $78 Billion Tax Bill

Top Finance Republican Blasts $78 Billion Tax Bill

Jonathan Ernst

Sen. Mike Crapo, the top Republican on the Finance Committee, made it clear again Wednesday that he does not support the $78 billion tax bill that would expand the Child Tax Credit and restore a set of business tax breaks, with the cost covered by the elimination of the pandemic-era employee retention tax credit.

The bill, negotiated by Democratic Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden and Republican House Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith, passed the House easily in January in a bipartisan 357-to-70 vote. Supporters had hoped to move the legislation through the Senate quickly, possibly by attaching it to a government funding bill, but that became unlikely given the opposition from Crapo and several other senators.

Crapo was critical of the proposed changes in the Child Tax Credit, which would include a refundable portion in 2024 and 2025 that could be claimed even by households with no income. Crapo said Wednesday he was concerned about reducing the need to work. “I remain concerned the CTC provisions undermine the work requirement and represent a significant shift – described by some Democrats as a down payment – to transform CTC from primarily working family tax relief into a government subsidy,” he said.

Crapo chided the bill’s backers for trying to push the bill through without alternation or amendments. “Efforts to pressure Senate Republicans to rubber stamp the Wyden/Smith tax deal have been counterproductive,” he said, adding that the bill has “no near-term path forward in the Senate.”