As Democrats push for $3.5 trillion bill, a top lawmaker remains silent on tax hike

As Democrats push for $3.5 trillion bill, a top lawmaker remains silent on tax hike

While polls show widespread voter support for increased taxes on the wealthiest individuals and corporations, some Democrats are wary of political retaliation for tax increases that may not eventually become law – particularly campaign war chests driven by liberal business interests. are partially dependent on.

Amid the complicated process and public demands from more prominent moderates, including Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Kirsten Cinema of Arizona, Mr. Neill has largely kept his policy priorities a secret.

Repeatedly pressurized by his appetite for tax hikes this summer, Mr. Neill appeared almost haunted by decades of missteps at times, recalling that in 1993 the Democrats controlled the House and fueled the heat of the material. A tax was adopted on the basis. The Senate rejected it, and many House Democrats who voted for the tax lost their seats, allowing Republicans to take back the chamber a year later—a painful political lesson they said they warned new lawmakers. Was.

He said of his colleagues, “I intend to accomplish this, and I do not want them to adopt an exercise that punishes them without any policy achievement.” “I’m excited about what the president wants to do, but if you volunteer the revenue now in Washington, the protests happen immediately.”

However, the Liberal Democrats argue that political winds have shifted, driven by decades of economic inequality that has been exacerbated by the pandemic and a report by ProPublica on how some of the wealthiest Americans have avoided paying taxes. have avoided.

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Consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader said, “Their real actions are not in line with major Democratic policies.” crowned again and again Mr Neil as the most prominent opponent of Mr Biden’s agenda. “You don’t usually take the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, but they’re getting nowhere with him.”

In theory, this is why Mr. Neal waited for decades to sit at the top of the oldest committee in the House, which had a vast jurisdiction over a range of tax codes, business and social safety net programs. First elected to Congress in 1988 after a relatively brief stint as a teacher and mayor, he moved to Ways and Committee in 1993, where he emerged as a general institutionalist and received respect from both sides. .


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