2017-11-04 — nytimes.com
The Republican tax rewrite unveiled on Thursday has set off a scramble among lobbyists and interest groups desperate to preserve prized tax breaks that are suddenly at risk in the sweeping bill moving through the House.
The rapid pace set out by Republican leaders is by design: They want to prevent the kind of arm-twisting that has long bedeviled previous tax overhaul efforts by leaving little time for outside groups to blitz lawmakers with concerns. Several consultants and lobbyists said on Friday that individual companies were just beginning to digest how the 400-plus page bill, which drastically changes how American businesses are taxed at home and abroad, would affect their bottom lines.
The groups pushing back the hardest on Friday included those in the real estate industry. Some of them had raised concerns before the bill was released, only to discover their biggest fears realized in the draft legislation. The bill includes several measures long opposed by those groups, including a limit on interest deductions for new home purchases of $500,000 or more and an expansion of the standard deduction.
The Mortgage Bankers Association plans conference calls and discussions with members of Congress throughout the weekend, said David Stevens, the group's president. Realtors are running online ads raising concerns over those provisions.
Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said no decision had been made about whether to include repeal of the so-called individual mandate. But he said Mr. Trump wants its inclusion, and he indicated that Republicans wanted to evaluate the fiscal effects of taking that step. Senate Republicans may not be as enthused about its inclusion.
[However, a Tax Foundation] analysis found that the draft legislation would cost too much to survive the budgetary requirements needed to pass the Senate on a party-line vote -- a sign that Republicans will almost certainly need to rework it in order to keep their hopes alive for delivering a bill to Mr. Trump's desk by December.
The analysis found that the bill would add $2 trillion to the federal budget deficit over the next decade, an amount that shrinks to $1 trillion even when additional economic growth effects from the bill are factored in.
"This does not pay for itself," said Scott Greenberg, a senior analyst at the Tax Foundation.
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