Friday, December 15, 2017

Tax bill has larger child credit for low-income families, no repeal of ban on nonprofit politicking

The final version of the tax bill in Congress will have a larger child tax credit for low- and moderate-income families, and will not include repeal of the law that bans religious institutions and other nonprofit organizations from endorsing political candidates.

Yesterday's version of the House-Senate conference committee report on the bill would have raise the tax credit to $2,000 per child from $1,000, but "many lower-income families would only qualify for a $1,100 child tax credit," Damian Paletta, Erica Werner, Jeff Stein and Mike DeBonis report for The Washington Post. Sen. Kristi Noem, R-N.D., "said Friday the plan’s credit for such families had been increased to $1,400, though it couldn’t be immediately learned how the expansion would work." It remained to be seen whether the change would satisfy Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who wanted a refundable $2,000 credit for all families, said he would accept the change and vote for the bill.

The ban on political endorsements by churches and other nonprofits was enacted in 1954 at the behest of then-Sen. Lyndon Johnson of Texas, later president. President Donald Trump "promised to 'totally destroy' the Johnson Amendment at the National Prayer Breakfast in February," notes Heather Long of the Post. "Getting rid of it has been a priority of some spiritual leaders, especially in evangelical circles that have typically leaned Republican. The tax bill that passed the House in November scrapped the Johnson Amendment entirely for all non-profits, but the Senate bill did not, setting up a difference that had to be ironed out in this final week of negotiations."

UPDATE, 3:35 p.m.: Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who cited deficit concerns in voting against the Senate bill, says he will vote for the conference report, all but guaranteeing its passage.

No comments: