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Democratic Senators Pressure House Counterparts on Tax Overhaul

29 GOP House members represent states with no Republican senator

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. (CQ Roll Call file photo)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic senators from Maryland, New York, California and New Jersey are pressuring their Republican counterparts in the House to reject the GOP tax bill if it comes back up for a vote in the chamber.

The group, in a letter sent Monday, highlighted provisions in both the House and Senate versions of the tax bill that would allow individuals to deduct up to $10,000 in property taxes but would otherwise repeal the popular state and local tax deduction.

“The House bill places a totally unacceptable tax burden on our middle class constituents, and the Senate bill is no better. Congress cannot force these partisan tax increases on our constituents without your support,” the senators wrote. “There are 29 Republican Members of Congress representing our four states, but none in the Senate. If the final tax legislation raises taxes on our states, our last chance to stop it will be when it comes back to the House of Representatives for a vote.“

The eight members who signed the letter include Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Sens. Cory Booker and Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris of California and Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Benjamin Cardin of Maryland.

While those four states have no Republican representation in the Senate, there are 29 GOP members in the House from California, Maryland, New York and New Jersey combined.

The House and Senate are expected to go to conference to work out differences between their respective measures. In the event changes are made, the House would have to vote on the conference bill. The Democratic senators say that would be an opportunity for the 29 members to “stand up for our constituents and oppose tax hikes that target our states.”

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas previously said he was working on an addition to the bill that would partially reinstate the SALT deduction in order to help assuage concerns from members in high-tax states such as California.

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