Republicans finally find something more important than a 20 percent corporate tax rate

Rebekah Entralgo

Rebekah Entralgo Reporter, ThinkProgress

If there was one part of the GOP tax framework President Donald Trump was adamant about, it was a 20 percent corporate rate.

House and Senate Republicans, however, decided today they aren’t so set on it.

Republicans in both chambers have reportedly reached an agreement on the final version of the bill, which includes a 21 percent corporate tax rate. The change in the corporate tax rate will help pay for lowering the top individual tax rate from 39.6 percent to 37 percent, a provision that would benefit millionaires.

At one point, Republicans were so set on a 20 percent corporate tax rate, that while the Senate was in the throes of negotiations two weeks ago, the party collectively struck down an amendment that would have actually provided marginal middle class tax relief to a tax bill that overwhelmingly benefits the wealthy.

Under the current proposed Senate bill, the child tax credit is expanded to $2,000, but isn’t refundable, meaning lower-income families who don’t make enough for income taxes and instead pay only payroll taxes wouldn’t qualify for the full tax credit, with many only receiving an additional $75 per child annually. The amendment written by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mike Lee (R-UT) proposed lowering the level of income at which the tax credit kicks in, extending the benefit to more lower-income families. Rubio and Lee suggested raising the corporate tax rate two percentage points in order to pay for the change, which would have cost around $70 billion dollars.

Republicans voted the amendment down on a procedural vote of 29 to 71, citing the White House’s firm position on a 20 percent corporate tax rate.

Rubio, still frustrated from the defeat of his child tax credit expansion, responded on Twitter.

Earlier in the week Rubio warned there are “going to be problems” if the conference committee weakens the tax credit in any way.

He repeated his criticism shortly after the deal was announced.

Rubio is not necessarily known for bucking the establishment, but it will be interesting to see if he provides any resistance to the GOP’s plan to move forward on a tax plan that barely delivers any tax relief to the working and middle class.

For Trump and other White House officials, the 20 percent corporate tax was essential in delivering the growth they had promised. Drastically cutting the rate 15 points, however, has been shown to be ineffective in spurring job creation. It’s also expensive, costing nearly one trillion dollars, according to the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation.

Even with this tax cut at the center of their tax plan, the growth estimates still aren’t there, with the administration’s own analysis refuting their popular talking point that the $1.5 trillion dollar tax plan would pay for itself through growth.

There are a number of other disputes that could prevent the GOP tax plan from becoming law just yet. Some senators, including Susan Collins, (R-ME), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Bob Corker (R-TN) have all mentioned various problems with the legislation that would keep them from voting on it.

Now that Democrats have gained another seat from the Alabama special election Tuesday night, the party is pushing for Doug Jones to be seated immediately, making the GOP’s path to overhauling the tax code much more difficult.

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Reposted from Think Progress

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work