Feb 29 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Senator Thom Tillis outlining the major flaws of the Wyden-Smith tax bill and called on his Senate Republican colleagues to reject the deal in its current form.

Read the full op-ed HERE.

Senator Tillis on the Wyden-Smith bill moving the CTC into a welfare program:

“The fundamental problem with the bill is that Republicans made a major concession to Democrats—allowing the child tax credit to begin to transition into a de facto welfare program—in return for something Democrats already wanted: research-and-development tax breaks for businesses. President Biden and Democratic lawmakers have been keen to weaken the work requirements of the child tax credit as part of their ‘Build Back Better’ agenda. They love to use the term ‘refundability,’ which means ensuring that people get money from the government even if they don’t pay taxes.”

Senator Tillis on the Wyden-Smith bill weakening work requirements:

“Their latest refundability push to weaken work requirements in Mr. Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act hit a roadblock when Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) resisted those changes and they weren’t included in the final bill. Refundability seemed dead until now. Whereas the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 provides an incentive to work because there is no additional child tax credit for a filer with no income, the Wyden-Smith bill would create an incentive not to work. It would weaken work requirements by allowing filers to be completely out of work for more than a year and still receive the additional tax credit.”

Senator Tillis on the Wyden-Smith deal’s fake pay-for:

“Then there is the question of how the government will pay for all of this. The bill clamps down on fraud from the employee retention tax credit and moves up the deadline for employers to file new claims. The bill’s authors say these changes will save more than $70 billion. They presumably didn’t consider that this money should have been left in the Treasury. The employee retention tax credit was never paid for to begin with, as it was passed as part of emergency pandemic relief under the Cares Act. Its hasty implementation resulted in massive fraud and cost overruns. How can any fiscal conservative defend using phony savings to pay for more spending? It’s like paying off a credit-card balance with another credit card. It’s fiscally irresponsible and unsustainable.”

Senator Tillis on the consequences of the Wyden-Smith bill:

“We also can’t forget that Congress has a habit of making tax changes permanent. If the changes in the Wyden-Smith bill become permanent, it will cost roughly $650 billion over a decade, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, and it will lower employment by 150,000 annually, according to an American Enterprise Institute report. Why would Mr. Smith or any other Republican capitulate to Democrats’ demands on the child tax credit in return for modest tax breaks for businesses? The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is already set to expire at the end of 2025, and Congress will have to address it, no matter who is in the White House. If the Wyden-Smith bill becomes law, all Republican leverage will be lost, even in a second Trump term. Left-wing Democrats will demand the next step: a fully refundable child tax credit for nonworking filers to realize the dream of turning this tax relief into a full-fledged welfare program.”