"US Capitol Dome on an Overcast Evening" by John Brighenti licensed under CC BY 2.0

Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee voted against numerous commonsense amendments introduced by Republican members throughout the four-day long markup of the $3.5 trillion tax and spend reconciliation plan.

If this legislation is signed into law, it will raise taxes on working families and small businesses. It will make America less globally competitive, increase the cost of goods and services, and eliminate jobs including high-paying manufacturing jobs.

Below are ten commonsense amendments that Democrats rejected. 

1. Democrats voted against ensuring the corporate rate is competitive with China and the rest of the world. Specifically, they rejected Rep. Kevin Brady’s (R-Texas) “Build Back Better in America, not China” amendment which would have prevented several tax hikes that will put America at a competitive disadvantage with foreign competitors. Under the Democrats’ plan, the U.S. federal and state corporate tax rate would be 31 percent, significantly higher than China’s corporate tax rate is 25 percent and the OECD average rate in 23.5 percent.

2. Democrats voted in support of a tax break for well-funded, elite universities. Democrats voted against Rep. Tom Reed’s (R-N.Y.) “No Tax Shelters for Ivy League Elites” which would have prevented $2.5 billion loophole for wealthy Ivy League universities. This provision effectively rewards the institutions with the largest endowments. 

3. Democrats opposed an amendment preventing a high global minimum tax on U.S. businesses before ensuring China enacts a minimum tax of its own. Rep. Devin Nunes’s (R-Calif.) “Stop Shipping Jobs to China” amendment would have prevented increasing taxes on the global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI) regime until China enacts a global minimum tax of its own. It also would have prevented the GILTI rate from being a rate higher than China’s. 

4. Democrats voted against protecting Americans from being harassed and targeted by the IRS. Rep. Mike Kelly’s (R-Pa.) “Protecting Families and Small Businesses from a Supercharged IRS” amendment would have prevented the IRS from creating a new reporting regime that forces the disclosure of any business or personal account that exceeds $600. Not only would this include the bank, loan, and investment accounts of virtually every individual and business, but it would also include third-party providers like Venmo, CashApp, and PayPal.

5. Democrats voted in favor of reinstating tax shelters for blue-state millionaires instead of funding cancer research. Rep. Adrian Smith’s (R-Neb.) “Cancer Cures Instead of SALT Tax Shelters for Millionaires” amendment would have funded cancer research and extend middle-class tax cuts instead of reinstating the full SALT tax deduction for wealthy people in blue states, a $400 billion tax break that many Democrats want to include in the reconciliation bill. 

6. Democrats voted in favor of a $96 billion tobacco & vaping tax hike that will hit low- and middle-income Americans.  Rep. Drew Ferguson’s (R-Ga.) “Preserving Personal Choices” amendment would have prevented this $96 billion tax hike. Increasing tobacco taxes is a clear violation of President Biden’s pledge to not raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year.

7. Democrats refused to ensure that their tax increases wouldn’t reduce U.S. employment and investment. Rep. Mike Kelly’s (R-Penn) “Return to Full Employment in America” amendment would have required the Treasury Secretary certify that Democrats’ tax increases won’t reduce U.S. employment and investment. Many of the tax hikes being pushed by Democrats will harm the economy. For instance, 70 percent of the corporate income tax is borne by workers through lower wages and less jobs, while increasing the capital gains rate will reduce investment and slow growth.

8. Democrats voted against ensuring their drug price controls wouldn’t shift pharmaceutical investment and jobs to China. Rep. Darin LaHood’s (R-Ill.) “Standing Up to China” amendment would require H.R. 3, legislation to impose a 95% tax on medicines and foreign reference pricing wouldn’t shift medical innovation and manufacturing jobs to China. Nationwide, the pharmaceutical industry directly or indirectly accounts for over four million jobs across the U.S and in every state, according to research by TEconomy Partners, LLC. The average annual wage of a pharmaceutical worker in 2017 was $126,587, which is more than double the average private sector wage of $60,000.

9. Democrats refused to certify that new regulations and tax hikes on the energy sector wouldn’t lead to increased oil and gas production by foreign competitors. Rep. Jodey Arrington’s (R-Texas) “No Giveaways to Polluting Countries” amendment would have required that the Treasury Secretary certify that Democrats’ hikes on oil and gas would not reduce U.S. energy independence and increase oil and gas production in Russia, China, Venezuela, or Iran. The oil and gas industry supports 11.3 million total American jobs across all 50 states and accounts for nearly 8 percent of GDP. In 2017, jobs in the oil and gas sector paid an average salary of $102,000, 85 percent higher than the average private sector salary.  

10. Democrats voted against keeping intellectual property and jobs in the United States. Rep. Kevin Hern’s (R-OK) “Offshore Tax Haven Reduction” amendment would have struck down the repeal of the deduction for foreign-derived intangible income (FDII). If this tax increase goes into effect, it will ship American intellectual property and jobs overseas, creating long-term economic damage to the country. It will undermine American competitiveness and benefit foreign countries like China that provide extensive and generous tax credits and subsidies to incentivize IP.