Sumary of US House Democrats advance tax-hike plan as rifts open over Biden spending bill:
- — Reuters pic WASHINGTON, Sept 16 — Legislation to raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations advanced out of a US House of Representatives committee on Wednesday to help fund President Joe Biden’s US$3.5 trillion (RM14.5 trillion) social spending plan, but a provision to slash drug prices stalled elsewhere on Capitol Hill.
- Biden met with two influential moderate Senate Democrats on the legislation at the White House.
- The Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee voted 24-19 to approve the tax-related portions of the bill, which include raising the top income tax rate to 39.6 per cent from 37 per cent and the top corporate tax rate to 26.5 per cent from 21 per cent.
- The committee’s work will be treated as recommendations to House and Senate leaders as they craft final versions of the massive tax and spending bill in coming weeks.
- “But there are also spending and tax provisions that give me pause, and so I cannot vote for the bill at this early stage,” she said in a statement, adding the final version can be “fiscally responsible.
- ” Democrats, who aim to pass the bill without the support of Republicans using budget reconciliation rules, cannot afford to lose more than three votes in the House and any votes in the Senate.
- Medicare deadlock Rifts between Democratic moderates and progressives also were on display at the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where a 29-29 vote blocked a provision that would allow the Medicare healthcare program for seniors to negotiate lower drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.
- A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the provision “will remain a cornerstone of the Build Back Better Act as work continues” on a final version.