If there’s one thing that motivates GOP lawmakers, it’s cutting someone’s taxes — as long as they’re rich.
It proves true once again as a group of “centrist” Republicans is making a coup, threatening to block the big tax bill Speaker Kevin McCarthy wants in the House before the August recess. These so-called “centrists” present themselves as liberals and the Capitol Hill press flatters them by endorsing that image. But when it comes to issues that affect millions of people – like abortion, voting, and LGBTQ + rights – they wouldn’t care, as my colleague Kerry Eleveld pointed out in her article. Nancy Mace is a quiet Republican legend.
The line in the sand for about 10 of these Republicans is the federal deduction that people can take on state and local taxes (especially property taxes) called Salt. The 2017 tax bill Republicans passed while Donald Trump was in office limited the SALT deduction to $10,000. Most of the people who use the SALT deduction are high-income earners, according to the Tax Foundation, who can deduct the income under the SALT instead of taking the deduction.
“I will not support a tax package that does not include a fix on SALT,” said one of the so-called centrists, the new Rep. Mike Lawler from New York. “The fact that the bill was written but did not make it to the floor shows that there are not 218 votes needed to pass anything at this point.”
Lawler is one of the leaders 18 Republicans representing the district that voted for President Joe Biden in 2020. Lawler voted The security clearance grants the freedom of the Freedom Caucus who were kidnapped in a civil war last week. He didn’t just vote for the entire bill: He voted for some of the worst amendments that the extremists brought to the floor – amendments that were approved.
He voted yes on the change of Rep. Ronny Jackson in Texas to prohibit the military from reimbursing service members for abortion-related travel if they live in areas where abortion is not available.
He voted yes adapted from Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana to ban gay-affirming medical services for military members and their families.
Lawler voted yes on modifications from Arizona Rep. Eli Crane (yeah, that Eli Craneof the negative reputation of “people of color”) to exclude race, gender, religion, political party, or “any other considerations” as a basis for recruitment, training, education, promotion, or retention decisions in the military.
He voted yes on the change of Rep. Lauren Boebert to ban books from military school libraries.
This is not a “centrist” vote. If he and his group of tax conservatives — many of whom also voted for these bad changes and the final bill — had stayed calm, they would have helped defeat the changes. They had the votes to do it, and do it easily.
Instead of increasing their wealth to stop all of this, they are suspending the Republican tax on SALT deductions that greatly benefit the wealthy. They have a tax bill that would help even low-income people increase the child tax credit.
Taxing this issue on anything else, especially abortion is illegal unpopular with votersit’s a shocking political decision for these vulnerable members to make. But they are Republicans, after all. They should be keeping their rich donors; These members of Congress will need your help (and deep pockets) to find new jobs if they are defeated in 2024.