The White House is on a veto spree today. They threatened to veto the House’s new 90-day surface transportation extension because it includes a quick approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Without an explicit veto threat, they “oppose” any version of a cybersecurity bill that violates user privacy (more on that later). And they threatened to veto a not-so-small business tax cut bill expected out of the House this week.
The White House threatened Tuesday to veto an effort by House Republicans to cut taxes for millions of smaller businesses, calling it an unproductive giveaway to many of the country’s most profitable companies [...]
The House legislation, sponsored by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., would provide a 20 percent tax deduction to most businesses with fewer than 500 employees. That would cover 99.9 percent of U.S. companies, according to Census Bureau data for 2007, the most recent year available [...]
In a written statement, the White House said Obama’s top advisers would urge him to veto the bill if it reached his desk.
The bill “is not focused on cutting taxes for small businesses, but instead would provide tax cuts to the most fortunate. Under the bill’s definition of income, many of the ‘small businesses’ that would receive the largest breaks are law partners, consultants and other wealthy individuals and corporations with the largest profits.”
Cantor’s bill has always been something of a joke, starting with the fact that it’s actually a broad business tax break, and ending with the fact that the fiscally responsible folks in the House GOP don’t even bother to offset the $46 billion cost of the bill.
Cantor bizarrely accused the President of “micro-managing” small businesses because he threatened the veto. I’m not going to pretend to know what that means. But this is the beginning of a new strategy for House Republicans. They will pursue a series of tax votes over the next several months, in the hopes of creating a single “tax reform” package to send to the Senate.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and top House Republicans are pushing an ambitious summer tax agenda, including a series of politically charged votes on everything from expiring Bush income tax rates to capital gains, while laying out a timeline for broader tax reform, according to several sources familiar with GOP planning [...]
The House GOP leadership’s strategy is to put every lawmaker in the House on the record voting on tax bills that would affect virtually every working American and businesses throughout the country.
But like everything with this Republican majority, no big decision comes easy.
There are already divisions within the House Republican Conference about how aggressive the party should be, and many conservatives believe the party should go for full-blown tax reform, which leaders think is unrealistic and risky.
John Boehner isn’t exactly in control of his caucus, so I see the planning outstripping the execution here. But this will lead to a presumed clash of visions between Republicans and Democrats on taxes. In reality, they agree more than not on 98% of all tax rates, but they’ll try very hard to make everyone overlook that.