The House passed bipartisan tax legislation Wednesday evening that would expand the Child Tax Credit and restore several business tax breaks — a rare feat in an otherwise bitterly divided Congress that has frequently suffered crippling dysfunction.
The $78 billion tax package was sent to the Senate on a vote of 357 to 70, with strong support from both Republicans and Democrats. It awaits an uncertain future in the upper chamber, with some Senate Republicans calling for hearings and others eager to make changes in the bill.
Some House progressives voted against the package, saying it wouldn’t do enough to slash child poverty. They were joined by Republicans on the right who grumbled that it’s an expansion of the welfare state in disguise.
But moderates from both parties provided the tax deal with the two-thirds majority it needed to get through the House under an expedited procedure known as suspension of the rules.
The passage belied the House’s usual reputation for partisan gridlock and was a big win for House Speaker Mike Johnson, who took the gavel in October after the tumultuous ousting of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) Republicans have routinely failed even to coalesce around routine procedural votes, frequently appearing completely ungovernable.
“The Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act is pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-America,” said House Ways and Means Chair Jason Smith (R-Mo.), the architect of the legislation along with Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). “It’s a strong commonsense bipartisan step forward in providing tax relief for working families and small businesses.”….