Tax policy matters
I wanted to give you an update on things from our friends at Americans for Tax Fairness. Below is a summary from them on the latest on tax issues in Congress, with some additions from RESULTS as well.
Senate Democrats have announced an unprecedented $3.5 trillion in new investments in the budget resolution, which will likely be voted on this month. That in turn sets up the later budget reconciliation bill to be debated in the fall. Add in the roughly $600 billion in the bipartisan infrastructure deal and total new investments are $4.1 trillion. This is a historic amount: equivalent to about a 5% increase in the federal budget for each of the next 10 years. If we can get this big a budget reconciliation bill signed into law, it will provide big, in some cases unprecedented, investments in healthcare, eldercare, childcare, education, economic mobility, paid leave, infrastructure, clean energy and more.
For RESULTS in particular, Senate leaders have indicated they intend to extend the expansions to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit but it is not clear if this outline lays the groundwork for those to become permanent. In addition, some reports indicate that negotiators intend for policymakers to include substantial assistance for renters along with resources to increase the supply of affordable housing – the focus of the great work you all have been doing on the recent Dear Colleague letter. Note: The budget resolution, which each chamber of Congress could vote on before the August recess, lays out the overall spending and revenue targets (not specific details on spending and taxes). It sets the parameters for the budget reconciliation bill that is needed to get Biden’s agenda through the Senate with just 51 votes and will be voted on in the fall.
As ATF notes, these investments will only be possible if the wealthy and corporations contribute to the $3.5 trillion package, which means that many of the progressive tax reforms we have all been advocating for and that are outlined in this sign-on letter from 90 national groups and in the state groups sign-on letter that 539 organizations have already signed are going to be central to the passage of the bill. The good news is that the President continues to push hard for increased taxes on the rich and corporations and that polling confirms that his proposals are very popular.
The next three weeks of grassroots activity are crucial – and we urge you to get involved and ask others in your state to do the same. The House and Senate are expected to vote on the budget resolution during the weeks of July 26 and August 2. It is critical to bring significant pressure to bear on members of Congress by:
- Continue to get media published in support of our housing priorities and making the EITC and CTC permanent. The RESULTS July 2021 U.S. Poverty Action has sample letters you can use, which highlight the needs to have the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share to help finance these policies. You can also send letters using the media action found on our Action Center page. Also, we have compiled media packers of all your published media on our U.S. and global issues since March 11. Find them on our Media Tools page (under the “I want to see what other RESULTS volunteers have published). Share these with advocates and congressional offices to show the power of your advocacy.
- Making sure your local RESULTS group has signed the state groups sign-on letter by COB Monday, July 19. ATF is sending it to congressional delegation early next week and will send you an email asking you to do the same. If you have other groups in your state you’d like to add to the letter, use this email to ask other groups to sign on.
- As ATF notes, this is key time for calling and emailing staff with your members of Congress ASAP, especially Democratic members (every Senate Democrat will need to support the plan to move forward). Tell them to support a budget resolution that provides $4 trillion in new investments and $4 trillion in new revenues paid by the wealthy and corporations. Here is a sample message in case helpful: I urge you to support a budget that makes $4 trillion in new investments, paid for by making the rich and corporations pay their fair share of taxes. It’s critical that Congress ease the burden of the high costs of healthcare, childcare, eldercare, college, housing and other needs of working families. President Biden’s Build Back Better plan will do that by rewarding work not wealth. It will be paid for by making big corporations and those earning over $400,000 pay their fair share. It won’t raise taxes on those earning under $400,000. Polls show this agenda is overwhelmingly supported by the public. Here is ATF’s digital toolkit that will be updated as things progress.