Saturday, May 29, 2010

House to Vote on Tax Bill as Net Cost Drops to $60.5 Billion

From the Wall Street Journal:

The latest version of House legislation to extend tax cuts and unemployment benefits would add $60.5 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office said Friday.

The House took the first step toward passing the package. On a 221-199 vote, the House approved a rule setting up two votes later Friday. The House will vote on the jobless and tax package, then vote separately on a provision to postpone scheduled cuts in Medicare payments to doctors.

The new cost estimate from CBO appeared to give Democrats the needed confidence to move ahead, after lacking the votes all week.

The estimate reflects changes House leaders made to the package including eliminating spending programs created by the 2009 stimulus bill, expanded Cobra health insurance subsidies and increased federal Medicaid payments to states.

Those and other changes shaved the net cost of the package to $60.5 billion from $140 billion earlier in the week.

The total cost of spending and tax cuts in the package is roughly $116 billion. About $56 billion of that is offset by targeted tax increases on business, including the fund manager tax rate increase and changes in the way overseas income of U.S.-based multinationals is taxed.

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