CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It’ll be early this week before Congress votes on the finalized GOP tax reform plan.
The U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote on the bill Tuesday before the U.S. Senate takes it up later in the week.
Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said she favors the plan because she believes it will jump start West Virginia’s economy.
“I’ve been talking with some business leaders and they’re saying this is going to mean I’m going to be able to pay more wages, invest more in my companies. We’ve been waiting for this,” she said. “I’m real excited about it.”
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would cut both business and individual taxes as part of the biggest tax overhaul in 30 years.
Two versions of the bill, passed by the House and Senate, were merged into a single bill by the Conference Committee. The final version was released Friday.
Part of the current plan cuts the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he pushed for a higher rate than that.
“I said I want a reduction. I want to be competitive. Can’t we go to 25 percent? They wouldn’t even accept that,” he said.
The finalized plan also cuts the top individual tax rate from 39.6 percent to 37 percent, allows for a $10,000 deduction in state, local and property taxes, expands the child tax credit and repeals the Obamacare mandate.
Manchin said he plans to vote “no” on the bill because it’s not a compromised plan.
“(Senator) Mitch McConnell, Republican leadership has made a concerted effort not to have it bipartisan at all. They’ve done everything except trying to reach out and say what ideas do you have?” he said.
Critics of the bill call it a tax cut for the rich, but Capito disagreed.
“I hear that criticism and I reject the fact that if you look at the statistics, 83 percent of West Virginians take the standard deduction. It’s doubling. For the average family it could mean as much as $2,200 back on their taxes,” she said.
Capito called the bill a “win-win” for individuals and small businesses in West Virginia, but Manchin said the bill is being rushed through the process.
“They’re working at warp speed as if there was a tremendous crisis. The stock market is better than it’s ever been. Unemployment is lower, so you don’t have to rush it,” he urged Republicans.
Republicans hope to have the bill on President Donald Trump’s desk by the end of the year.