Speed Reads

GOP tax plan

Republican suffer a big corporate defection on tax cuts as they gird up to roll out bill

On Wednesday, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) plans to unveil the tax reform package he and other Republicans have been hammering out behind closed doors for months. Over the weekend, an influential corporate lobbying group, the National Association of Home Builders, took a bit of a shine off the bill, promising to actively oppose it after Brady informed that group that a "homeownership" tax credit the group has been working to include in the bill did not make the cut. "We will do everything we can to defeat this thing," said Jerry Howard, the NAHB's chief executive, including a nationwide campaign.

"Home builders are considered among the most politically influential groups, as they play a large role in the local economy for virtually every congressional district — and contribute millions to political campaigns," The Washington Post explains. Howard and Brady's staff worked together for months on the "homeownership tax credit," which would more or less replace two other deductions — mortgage interest and property tax — but GOP leaders had already promised too many people that they are keeping the mortgage-interest deduction, the Post reports.

Once Brady rolls out his tax package — which will apparently controversially cap pre-tax contributions to 401(k) accounts — Senate Republicans will start working on theirs. Getting a tax bill signed is the GOP's top legislative priority, and NAHB isn't expected to be the last influential group that objects to parts of the bill.