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Report: Biden planning first major tax increase in three decades

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President Joe Biden is reportedly planning the first major federal tax increase in almost three decades to help bankroll the long-term economic program set up to follow his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package he signed last week, unidentified people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg in a Monday report.

The reported plans would be the first major tax increase since President Bill Clinton‘s 1993 overhaul.

The tax hike proposals reportedly either under consideration or currently planned include: raising the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%; raising the income tax rate on individuals making over $400,000; paring back tax preferences for pass-through businesses, such as limited-liability companies or partnerships; expanding the estate tax; and establishing a higher capital gains tax rate for people making at least $1 million annually.

On the campaign trail, Biden had said he would repeal former President Donald Trump‘s tax cuts on “day one” of his administration, though he has yet to follow through a little over 50 days after taking office. Since becoming president, much of his and Democrats’ attention have been on Trump’s second impeachment trial, COVID economic relief, Cabinet confirmations, among many other things.

Since Trump’s massive tax cuts were passed in 2017, something Republicans overwhelmingly consider a major achievement for the former president, the cuts have been the target of many Democrats’ ire, becoming a boogeyman of sorts for them. “[T]he worst bill in the history” of Congress, then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) labeled the tax legislation in late 2017.

Seeing how Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan faced massive hurdles posed by moderate senators in his own party, in a chamber the Democrats control by the slimmest of margins, there are signs that a tax hike would face a rocky road to passage.

MORE ON COVID RELIEF: House approves $1.9T COVID relief bill, Biden set to sign Friday

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D), a moderate, told The Hill in January that repealing Trump’s 2017 tax cuts would be “ridiculous”. Though, as the publication noted, Manchin walked back his comments, saying, “Everything’s open for discussion.”

MORE ON SEN. MANCHIN: Sen. Sinema breaks with Democrats on $15 minimum wage

Any tax hikes that are passed would likely take effect starting in 2022, according to Bloomberg, which pointed out that some lawmakers have urged the administration to hold off due to pandemic-related unemployment remaining high.

Late last month for example, Montana Sen. Jon Tester (D) warned that lawmakers ought to be careful about raising taxes when the real unemployment rate at the time was estimated to be as high as 10%, per The Hill.

“I think there are some loopholes in the code that could be cut out. I don’t know that you want to do it right now,” he said.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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NYC bill trying to repeal ‘sanctuary city’ laws put in place by liberal Mayor Bill de Blasio

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New York lawmakers are introducing a bill this week to undo “sanctuary city” laws approved from 2014-2018 under then-Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat. Council members Robert Holden (D-Queens) and Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island) told The New York Post they’ll introduce the bill Thursday.

Among the laws to be reversed include the prohibiting of the NYPD, and Correction and Probation departments from cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents unless the cases involve suspected terrorists or serious public safety risks. It would also reverse rules prohibiting city agencies from partnering with ICE to enforce federal immigration laws.

“Sanctuary city laws put all New Yorkers, both immigrants and longtime residents, in danger by preventing the NYPD and DOC from working with ICE,” said Holden, a moderate Dem. “We do not need to import criminals, and only 23 years since 9/11, we have forgotten the deadly consequences of poor interagency communication. We must repeal these laws immediately.”

“Like most things in New York, sanctuary city policy is a social experiment gone off the rails,” said Borelli. “All the problems with these local laws came out during the public-hearing process, but the Council just stepped harder on the gas pedal.”

In February, Mayor Eric Adams called for the rules to be loosened so migrants “suspected” of “serious” crimes could also be turned over to ICE — as they once were under sanctuary city policies implemented as early as 1989 under ex-mayors Ed Koch and Michael Bloomberg.

Among public reasons for the push is the murder of Georgia nursing student Laken Riley.  If it wasn’t for the sanctuary city policies, Riley is among other deaths that could have been prevented if the policies were not in place, Holden and other critics have said.

The 22-year-old was found dead Feb. 22 on the University of Georgia’s campus, six months after her alleged killer Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, was arrested in Queens and charged with endangering a child.

The Post explains of the case:

The NYPD had no choice but to cut the Venezuelan-born Ibarra loose — instead of turning him over to federal immigration officials — because he didn’t have any major crime convictions.

Council Speaker Adrienne Adams shot down the mayor’s idea just one day later, saying she and the rest of the Council’s progressive Democratic majority wouldn’t be considering any rule changes. The bill introduced this week is also likely to face objections from the Council’s left-wing Democratic majority.

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