Louisiana's US senators say tax bill would help families in the - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Louisiana's US senators say tax bill would help families in the state, some groups disagree

US Sen. Bill Cassidy and US Sen. John Kennedy (Sources: Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy) US Sen. Bill Cassidy and US Sen. John Kennedy (Sources: Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy)
WASHINGTON, DC (WAFB) -

Both of Louisiana’s Republican US senators voted for the nearly $1.5 trillion tax bill, which passed by a narrow margin in the Senate early Saturday morning.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, said the legislation would cut taxes for working families in the state.

"The Tax Cut and Jobs Act cuts taxes for working and middle-income families," Cassidy said in a written release. "It boosts the economy, repeals Obamacare’s individual mandate, preserves the Historic Tax Credit, gives tax relief to victims of the 2016 floods in North and South Louisiana and provides money to rebuild our coastline. This is a good bill for Louisiana and the United States."

Cassidy noted the bill would double the Child Tax Credit to $2,000, lower income tax rates across the board, and preserve deductions for home mortgage interest and charitable contributions.

Sen. John Kennedy said a non-partisan group claims Louisiana would see an increase of more than 12,000 new jobs under the tax bill and the average family would gain more than $1,800 in after-tax income.

"This bill is about three things: tax cuts, jobs, and more jobs," Kennedy said in a written release. "It doesn’t take an expert to see what’s stalling the American economy: middle-class families need to see more of their hard-earned dollars in their bank accounts. This bill gives them that while allowing American job creators the freedom and flexibility they need to increase wages and create jobs."

However, Louisiana Budget Project (LBP), a Baton Rouge group that provides independent research and analysis of Louisiana fiscal issues and their impact on low and moderate income residents, said the GOP Senate tax plan raises taxes on middle class and working families, but gives massive tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy.

Jan Moller, director of LBP released the following statement:

This bill, like the House bill that already passed, is a costly giveaway to the most powerful people and corporations at the expense of working families. While those at the top get a tax break, millions of low-income and middle-class Americans would face a tax increase.

This irresponsible tax bill will explode the budget deficit and create new uncertainty for our state budget. Worse, it sets the stage for damaging cuts to future investments in health care, nutrition and education that are critical to growing Louisiana's economy.

The Senate bill goes further than the House version by increasing the number of uninsured by 13 million - all to pay for even more corporate tax cuts.   

Unfortunately, this bill is too flawed to be fixed in a conference committee. Instead of giving tax cuts to those least in need, Louisiana's congressional delegation should pursue tax policies that invest in working families while closing costly loopholes.

The bill passed 51-49.

The House passed a bill a couple of weeks ago that differs in some respects.

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