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House Passes Bill Providing More Than USD600 Billion In Tax Cuts

Fri, 18th Dec 2015 05:30

WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - A bill providing more than USD600 billion in tax cuts easily cleared the House on Thursday, setting up a vote on a separate bill to fund the government through the end of the current fiscal year.

The House voted 318 to 109 in favor of the package of tax cuts known as the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act. Most Republicans voted for the bill along with 77 Democrats.

The bill includes a laundry list of tax breaks for businesses, investors and families and makes a number of temporary tax provisions permanent.

Authors of the legislation said it prevents a significant immediate tax increase on millions of Americans and makes it easier for businesses to plan ahead.

The package included tax cuts favored by lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, although some Democrats complained the bill is tilted in favor of businesses and expressed concerns about the cost.

Republicans agreed to waive requirements that the bill be paid for by spending cuts or other tax offsets, raising concerns from budget watchdogs.

The bipartisan, non-profit Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said the bill would cost about USD680 billion over ten years, or about USD830 billion after interest.

Passage of the tax cut package was partly seen as an effort to win support for a separate USD1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill.

The appropriations package negotiated by congressional Republicans and Democrats will fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016.

The spending bill will include language reforming the Visa Waiver program, lifting the ban on US oil exports and delaying a provision in Obamacare known as the "Cadillac tax."

The deal also includes a five-year extension of tax breaks for wind and solar energy producers, which is seen as win for Democrats.

The House is expected to vote on the spending bill on Friday, followed by a Senate vote on legislation combining the spending bill and the tax cut package. The White House has indicated support for the bill.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX

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