taxes

Green New Deal: Some Democrats on the fence
Top Democrats who would oversee legislation in the House are reluctant to endorse plan that would remake economy

Democratic Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have championed the Green New Deal on Capitol Hill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A resolution outlining the goals of the Green New Deal capped off its first week of a somewhat messy rollout with mixed reviews, even from typically Democratic strongholds like labor unions.

In the House, the top two Democrats who would oversee any legislation that comes out of the plan have remained reluctant to fully endorse it, stopping at lauding the goals and the enthusiasm behind them. And Republicans quickly branded the Green New Deal as an extreme, socialist plan with unrealistic proposals to eliminate air travel and cows.

Progressive groups push Democrats to full-court press for Trump’s taxes
New House Ways and Means chairman has indicated he will ‘lay out a case’ to obtain POTUS’ tax records

Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., has indicated that he won’t make a quick play for Trump’s tax returns. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Progressive groups renewed their calls Thursday for the leading Democrat on the House committee with jurisdiction over taxes to “immediately” obtain Donald Trump’s tax returns, which the president refused to release during the 2016 campaign after initially promising to do so.

“As the newly appointed Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, it is your constitutional duty and responsibility to conduct effective oversight of President Donald Trump and his administration,” three leading progressive groups on the issue wrote in a letter, first seen and reviewed by Roll Call, to Democratic Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts.

Chuck Grassley reminds U.S. Olympic Committee about requirements for its tax exemption
Finance chairman fires off new questions about the USOC's handling of sexual abuse

Finance Chairman Charles E. Grassley is raising questions about the U.S. Olympic Committee’s tax status. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The United States Olympic Committee might have more cause to worry about its tax exemption.

In a new letter to USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland, new Senate Finance Charles E. Grassley asks a series of questions about the committee’s work to protect athletes from abuse.

Grassley wants IRS to give taxpayers a break if they messed up witholdings

Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, center, thinks the IRS should give taxpayers a break if they did not withhold enough from their paychecks. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee does not want taxpayers punished if they end up owing an abnormally large amount of money to the IRS this tax season because of issues with the changes in tax withholding under 2018 tax code changes.

While Sen. Charles E. Grassley praised the efforts of the IRS and the Treasury Department to advise people of the importance of updating tax withholding figures, as well as the online calculator, he said that it was clear there could be issues.

House Democrats’ budget to assume corporate tax increase
Yarmuth aims to bring fiscal 2020 budget resolution to floor by early April

New House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., wants to mark up a fiscal 2020 budget resolution in time to reach the chamber floor in early April. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. John Yarmuth, the new House Budget chairman, said his chamber’s budget blueprint will aim to claw back lost revenue by boosting the corporate tax rate from its current 21 percent to as high as 28 percent, with rate increases also possible for high-earning individuals.

The Kentucky Democrat said Friday he wants to mark up a fiscal 2020 budget resolution, which will outline his party’s vision for taxes and spending over the next decade, in time to reach the House floor in early April. Yarmuth said Democratic leaders have told him they want to be ready so they can set the procedural stage for passage of all 12 appropriations bills before the August recess.

Divided government will pose an obstacle to lawmaking in 2019
Congress was most dysfunctional from 2011 to 2014 when control of House and Senate was split

The partial government shutdown is already casting a dark shadow for prospects of what Congress might accomplish in 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Washington tends to work best when one party controls both Congress and the White House. It’s most gridlocked, usually, when control of Congress is split.

The Congress of the past two years demonstrated the first principle. By any honest measure, President Donald Trump and his Republican colleagues in the House and Senate got a lot done in 2017 and 2018.

Congress and Tax Cuts, A Love Story
Even amid the Christmas shutdown showdown, more talk of tax cuts

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., is retiring, but he’ll keep talking about tax cuts until then. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Despite the looming Christmas holiday, and despite an intractable fight over government funding and a border wall, and despite the unpopularity (and blow to the deficit) of the last big tax cut last year, it’s still raining tax cuts, or at least the politicians who love them. 

Witness the House taking time Thursday to push through a package of tax cuts that the Senate has shown no interest in taking up as the legislative calendar ticks down to zero. 

Did Tax Reform Scrooge the Holiday Party Spirit?
Political Theater, Episode 49

The holiday party circuit was a bit subdued this year. Did Congress take away incentives to live it up during this time of the year? (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Whether it was a cramped schedule, the funeral of a president, changes to the tax code or overall crankiness, the holiday party scene this year seemed a little, um, meh. CQ Roll Call's Niels Lesniewski, Kate Ackley and Peter Cohn crash the party that is Political Theater to discuss the wine, song and tax deductions of the Washington holiday party circuit. 

White House: Trump Willing to Use Other Funds for Wall to Get Deal
White House would go along with deal as long as it can use funding from other sources to get closer to $5 billion

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the White House might go along with the Senate plan “as long as we can couple that with other funding resources that would help us get to the $5 billion.” (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders seemed to endorse a potential spending deal that would include all of the remaining appropriations, including a Senate Homeland Homeland Security bill with $1.6 billion in wall-related funding.

But as usual, there was a catch — President Donald Trump might insist on flexibility to use other funds already identified to get closer to his desired $5 billion.

Illness Will Make Rep. Walter Jones Miss the Rest of This Session
Jones to return in January to serve out his final term in office

North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones has been granted a leave of absence for the duration of the congressional term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones’ unspecified illness will cause him to miss votes for the remainder of the 115th Congress.

Jones’ House colleagues granted the leave of absence on Dec. 11 by unanimous consent, according to the Congressional Record.