Two suburban Republicans helped deliver game-changing tax legislation in the U.S. House Thursday, but an uncertain fate awaits the bill in the Senate.
Reps. Randy Hultgren of Plano and Peter Roskam of Wheaton voted for the proposal that supporters laud as an economic fix while dubious critics, including suburban Democrats who voted against it, pan it as punitive to the middle-class.
Roskam has championed the policy, saying it will give relief to small-business owners in his 6th District. He helped write the bill as a member of the Ways and Means Committee and Tax Policy Subcommittee chairman.
"Today we took a transformative step to putting an end to the status quo," Roskam said in a statement.
"The status quo benefits the few, it benefits the privileged, and it benefits those at the top of the economic ladder. Today the House voted to reject the old way of doing things and support the most significant tax overhaul in over 30 years that will help hardworking families and small businesses around the country."
Hultgren pointed to an increase in the standard deduction and lowering of the corporate tax rate as benefits awaiting Americans.
"I am especially pleased the legislation includes my bill, the Bring Small Businesses Back Tax Reform Act, to cut the overall small business tax rate to 25 percent and provide much-needed relief to the engine of Illinois' economy," Hultgren said.
But Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski of Western Springs warned people would lose personal exemptions and medical expense deductions, and students would be taxed on education loans. He also noted the changes would curtail certain deductions for state and local taxes -- ultimately raising taxes for middle-class suburbanites.
"Another particularly troubling aspect of this bill is that while it adds some new incentives to make it easier to raise children and support families, these incentives expire after five years. Meanwhile, provisions that primarily benefit high-income taxpayers and corporations are made permanent," Lipinski said in a statement.
Democratic Rep. Bill Foster of Naperville said the bill would cut Medicare by $25 billion in 2018.
Added Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley: "It's unacceptable that nearly 50 percent of the benefits under this bill will go to the top 1 percent of earners, while those in the bottom half receive $50 or less in tax cuts in 2027."
The Senate is considering its own version of tax reform but while the House passed the measure 227 to 205, not all Republican votes are secure in the upper chamber.