Follow Us

Tax package set for House vote could balloon to $1.5 trillion over 10 years: Tax Foundation expert

The bipartisan Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act could see a vote as early as Tuesday in the House but it's facing criticism from both Republican and Democratic House members.

Published: January 29, 2024 11:01pm

The bipartisan tax package set for a House vote this week that expands the Child Tax Credit could balloon to $1.5 trillion over 10 years, an expert at the Tax Foundation told Just the News.

The Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act could see a vote as early as Tuesday in the House.

"The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) properly scored the bill’s temporary tax provisions as written in the bill. However, the fact that policymakers would be considering only temporary tax policy through 2025 masks the larger long-term costs if the changes are eventually made permanent as many would like to see happen," said Garrett Watson, a senior policy analyst at the Tax Foundation.

"In fact, it would cost between $700 billion and $1.5 trillion over ten years to make the tax deal permanent, depending on how much of the underlying current law child tax credit (CTC) we include in a permanency package. That’s much more than the gross cost of the temporary provisions being considered now (which is about $80 billion) and would require additional offsets if we want to avoid raising the deficit," he added.

Last week, an analysis from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) concluded that tax provisions in the bill could end up costing taxpayers $650 billion over the next decade. According to the CRFB, the $79 billion cost estimate through 2025 would be covered by "limiting excessive payments from the pandemic-era Employee Retention Credit (ERC)."

A Republican congressional source told Just the News that not all Republicans support the tax package and its "pay for" provision that applies through 2025.

According to the source, many conservatives think that the "pay for" is a budget gimmick, noting that they would prefer the package instead eliminate costly Biden-era green energy tax breaks tucked into the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 in order to save taxpayer funds.

Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus have been outspoken about the package's expansion of the CTC from $2,000 per child to $3,600, arguing that it should not apply to illegal immigrants who file tax returns. Currently, illegal immigrants can file tax returns using tax identification numbers in lieu of Social Security numbers and claim the CTC for their children.

In response to the criticism, the GOP-led House Ways and Means Committee wrote on X that the bill does not "open the door to new child tax credit claims by illegal immigrants" and that "all the protections to the Child Tax Credit that Republicans implemented under President Trump remain in place."

Under the Trump-era tax reform, illegal immigrants who file returns can claim the credit for their children and the new tax package would extend those rules. Prior to Trump's tax reform, illegal immigrants reportedly could collect the tax credit for children without providing the child's Social Security number to prove that they are U.S. citizens. The Trump tax reform bill required a Social Security number for the children be provided in order to collect the credit.

The Trump tax reform bill also imposed a $10,000 cap on the State and Local Tax Deduction commonly known as SALT. The cap applies to individual and joint tax returns. Members of the bipartisan SALT Caucus in Congress, mostly from high tax states, want to see the cap raised or eliminated. Since the bipartisan tax package keeps in the cap in place, some of these members have vowed to vote against the package when it comes to the House floor.

“I’m a no on the tax package that does not have adequate relief for SALT,” said Rep. Nick LaLota, R-N.Y. on Monday. “I’m willing to fight for my constituents by voting no.”

Just the News Spotlight