Senate Markup Could Slow Down Smith-Wyden Tax Deal

January 25, 2024

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith (R-MO) and Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) are encountering some resistance to their negotiated tax package that pairs restoration of three business tax breaks with an expanded Child Tax Credit through 2025.

The bipartisan agreement includes restoring GOP-supported business interest deductions; full deductions for research and development expenses; and an extension of bonus depreciation. In return, Democrats would get an expanded Child Tax Credit – extending access for lower-income families and adjusting the $2,000 maximum benefit for inflation.

House leadership wants to put the bill on the floor next week under suspension of the rules, which requires a two-thirds majority for passage. The bill has broad support and passed the House Ways and Means Committee last week 40-3. However, Senate Republicans want a committee markup on the bill and have issues with the Child Tax Credit expansion, which would slow down the nearly $80 billion package.

“I want to get back to legislating,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, told Punchbowl News. “We can’t just have a deal between two people and then just say, ‘Take it or leave it.’”

Adding to the urgency of the tax deal is Wyden’s preference that Congress pass the tax package before tax filing season begins on Jan. 29 so that taxpayers can claim the Child Tax Credit.

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