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Legislative Updates

House pushes through second round of tax cuts, adding even more to deficit

After adding $1.47 trillion to the nation’s deficit through tax breaks that prioritize corporations over the American people back in 2017, the House of Representatives voted today to add an additional $657 billion to the deficit through misplaced priorities.

Three separate bills, H.R. 6756 introduced by Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), H.R. 6757 introduced by Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), and H.R. 6760 introduced by Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), make up what is being referred to as “Tax Reform 2.0” This references the sweeping tax overhaul measure, H.R. 1, signed into law back in December 2017.

Lawmakers’ over-eagerness to cut taxes for corporations and the nation’s wealthiest comes at the direct expense of the American public, but especially the federal workforce. By adding nearly $2.2 trillion to the deficit while simultaneously decreasing spending on federal programs, Congress willingly jeopardizes the future of health and retirement benefits for letter carriers and federal employees. Lawmakers will stress the importance of addressing “high-spending,” opening the door to future budget cuts to the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), as well to vital programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

The bills did see some bipartisan support, but were mostly party-line votes. H.R. 6756 was passed 260 to 156, with 31 Democrats supporting the measure and no Republicans opposing; H.R. 6757 was passed 240 to 177 with 10 Democrats supporting and no Republicans opposing; and H.R. 6760 was passed 220 to 191 with three Democrats supporting and ten Republicans opposing.

The measures now head to the Senate, where they will first be considered in the Senate Finance Committee before potentially proceeding the floor for a vote. NALC will continue to monitor the progression of these bills and keep letter carriers informed.

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