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    Moderator Beezer's Avatar
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    Apr 2016

    Johnson Sets Vote on Tax Bill Conservatives Call ‘Trojan Horse to Expand Welfare’ for

    Johnson Sets Vote on Tax Bill Conservatives Call ‘Trojan Horse to Expand Welfare’ for Illegal Aliens

    Getty Images BRADLEY JAYE

    31 Jan 2024

    Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is rushing through a tax bill unveiled days ago over significant policy objections from both conservative and centrist factions of the Republican Party.

    Conservatives have spoken out against provisions in the bill they see as handouts to illegal immigrants, particularly an expansion of the Child Tax Credit without language requiring the parent to have a Social Security number.

    They argue the expansion would serve as an additional powerful migration pull, even as migrant encounters at the border reach record highs under President Joe Biden.

    That tax credit fight takes place as Senate negotiators continue seeking a separate compromise on border security and foreign aid.

    In that fight, conservatives have accused Democrats of prioritizing policies that would alleviate border bottlenecks by more speedily processing migrants and hiding and housing those already here instead of deterring future migration in an election year ploy to obscure the severity of the border crisis and show action, even if contrary to the American interest.

    Johnson indicated Wednesday morning he would move the bill later in the evening under suspension of the rules. “Suspension votes” require two-thirds support – but allow for speedier passage – and are generally used for non-controversial or low-profile votes, like renaming post offices.

    However, Johnson is signaling a new normal for suspension votes that could sidestep opposition in his own party.

    Only weeks ago he suspended the rules to move another consequential piece of legislation – a continuing resolution which extended government funding levels and priorities enacted in December 2022 by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) during a lame duck Congress.

    That bill enjoyed overwhelming Democrat support. Johnson secured majority Republican support of the bill by only one vote, garnering 107 in support over 106 nays. But Breitbart News learned that Johnson secured a last-minute switch to yes in order to achieve a majority.


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    Conference rules adopted by House Republicans at the beginning of the Congress require majority support from Republicans for a Speaker to advance legislation.

    In addition to concerns over the Child Tax Credit, a group of New York members have spearheaded opposition from Republicans from high-tax states over the state and local tax (SALT) deduction cap.

    That group has continued working to hash out a compromise with Johnson in the hours leading up to the vote. In a tight contest, their votes might be necessary for Johnson to get two-thirds support.

    Despite the criticism within his party, Johnson has touted the bill, calling it “important bipartisan legislation to revive conservative pro-growth tax reform.”

    Yet significant conservative opposition to the bill exists. Richard Stern, Director of the Heritage Foundation’s Herman Center for the Federal Budget and a former budget staffer to Johnson, told Breitbart News the bill is “a Trojan horse to expand welfare programs, including those that go to illegal aliens.”

    He continued, “Most of the bill is an increase in spending and subsidies, not tax relief. 91.5% of what is being labeled as “middle class tax cuts” are actually going to a dramatic expansion of the welfare state.

    Further, the bill will create at least $155 billion in new federal deficits that will drive inflation and mortgage rates even higher. This is a reckless and fiscally irresponsible measure that will burden hard working American families.”

    In a sign that the vote will be close, staff for the Ways and Means Committee, which recommended the bill only days before Johnson scheduled a vote, encouraged committee members to cast their vote as soon as the vote opened as a show of force.

    In an email to the committee’s GOP members’ staffs obtained by Breitbart News, a staffer for Ways and Means Chairman, Jason Smith (R-MO), told members they “need to light up the board with GREEN as quickly as possible.

    “We know it is probably when Members are coming back from dinner but if they can prioritize voting early in the tally it would be appreciated by the Chairman.”

    Smith, who negotiated the deal with Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), and the bill’s other proponents argue that changes to the bill could endanger the bill’s passage in the Senate.

    But Republicans who oppose the legislation question why Johnson is prioritizing a bill with bad policies unsupported by conservatives that would hand the unpopular Biden a rare election year win.

    Bradley Jaye is a Capitol Hill Correspondent for Breitbart News. Follow him on X/Twitter at @BradleyAJaye.

    Last edited by Beezer; 01-31-2024 at 05:40 PM.


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