On Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced legislation that would make the individual tax cuts from the GOP tax bill permanent. The cuts are currently set to lapse after 2025.
In a press release, Cruz stated:
We’re seeing enormous benefits as a result of the historic tax cuts passed last year. The Texas economy is booming, and even on Tax Day, there is a renewed optimism and energy throughout the state. Texans are investing capital, expanding businesses, hiring new workers, and raising wages, and that economic growth is benefiting middle class families across the Lone Star State. But on tax reform, Congress is just getting started. There is much more we can do on behalf hardworking Americans, starting with passing my bill to make the individual tax cuts and other provisions permanent.
The bill, S.2687, was “read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.”
The reason the GOP tax bill placed an expiration date on the individual tax cuts was because it had to comply with the budget reconciliation process, including the “Byrd rule.”
According to Nicole Goodkind of Newsweek:
Each year Congress has the option of adding special rules to their budget, known as reconciliation instructions. This powerful tool allows Senators to pass legislation with just 50 votes instead of the usual 60-vote threshold — and also makes the bill not subject to filibuster. Spending and tax bills, including this one, are usually passed under the protection of reconciliation.
But the process is governed by the Byrd Rule, which limits the kind of legislative provisions allowed. Under the Byrd rule … a provision is considered extraneous if it increases the deficit beyond a 10-year window, makes changes to Social Security or does not produce a change in revenues.
Now that the bill has been passed and signed into law, a new bill can be introduced to make the individual cuts permanent, which is what Sen. Cruz is attempting to do.