This week in Congress, the most significant rewriting of the U.S. tax code could take a big step toward becoming law. The U.S. House of Representatives may vote on a big package of tax changes as soon as Thursday. The decision would come less than two weeks after the initial legislation was introduced by House Republican leaders and only a week after the House Ways and Means Committee debated the bill, eventually passing it through on a party-line vote.
It’s called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and what Republicans hope it accomplishes is advertised in its name. The bill would reduce the number of income tax brackets Americans fall into and cut the corporate tax rate. It also gets rid of or scales down several itemized deductions like mortgage interest, interest paid on student loans, local property tax bills and medical expenses.
Carlos Curbelo is one of two Florida congressmen on the House Ways and Means Committee — the place where all tax bills must start on Capitol Hill. Curbelo represents South Dade and the Keys.
"It needs to help all of the American people," he told WLRN last week.
Ted Deutch represents parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties.
"I would like a tax bill that actually starts with the premise that we need to have an internal revenue code that works for everyone," he said.
Deutch is a Democrat and Curbelo is a Republican. The two teamed up to form the Climate Solutions Caucus in the House. And despite their similar sounding goals for tax reform, the two do not agree on the legislation making its way through the House.
WLRN spoke with them separately last week on Capitol Hill, before the House Ways and Means Committee passed the reform package to the House and before Senate Republicans released their own version of tax reform.