Democrats vow to block ‘build back better’ bill without tax cuts

© Reuters.U.S. President Joe Biden waits for reporters to leave after delivering opening remarks at a virtual meeting of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus in Washington, U.S.

Jarrett Renshaw

(Reuters) – Several members of the U.S. House of Representatives from President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party have threatened to block a relaunch of his “Build Back Better” spending bill if it doesn’t include an expansion of federal taxes paid to state and local entities. relief.

Expanding the relief, the SALT for state and local taxes, has been a demand from lawmakers in high-tax states like California, New Jersey and New York, especially in suburban areas where Democrats seek to maintain control in the Nov. 8 election.

“We support the president’s agenda, and if there is any effort to include changing the tax code, then SALT fix has to be part of it. Without SALT, there is no deal,” members Tom Suozzi and Mikie Sherrill of New York and Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey said in a statement. said in a joint statement late Thursday.

The SALT deduction was part of the U.S. income tax law more than a century ago and was limited to $10,000 in the 2017 Republican tax law.

The cap disproportionately affects homeowners in higher Democratic-leaning states with home values, such as New Jersey, where homeowners pay an average of about $9,000 in local property taxes.

Asked about the House lawmaker’s request, a White House official for Biden said: “We were in touch with a number of lawmakers on the president’s economic growth plan for the middle class and weighed the SALT late last year, and we won. .” Don’t negotiate openly. ”

The “SALT caucus” has more than 30 members in the House of Representatives who want to expand the deduction, including some Republicans, congressional aides said.

Their demand adds to the challenge the White House faces in trying to save https://www.reuters.com/world/us/how-white-house-hopes-save-bidens-spending-bill-2022-01-18 Biden part of a $1.7 trillion spending package that passed by a narrow congressional majority.

As the White House tries to shrink the bill, it may need to give up hundreds of billions of dollars in social programs but keep the SALT, a tax break some in the party calls a gift for the rich.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can only afford three defections as Democrats narrowly control the 435-member House of Representatives majority.

The House passed a version of Biden’s social spending bill that would raise the cap to $80,000, despite opposition from some progressives that it primarily benefits high-income households. The bill died prematurely in the 100-member Senate, lacking support from a majority of Democrats.

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