WATERLOO — Tax reform is expected to be introduced in the U.S. House this week, but details are sparse as to what it will contain. U.S. Rep. Rod Blum, R-1st District, is fighting to ensure one particular provision is included.
Blum, a Dubuque businessman, joined a bipartisan group of 34 House members who want to keep federal historic tax credits in the tax code, despite rumors they are slated for elimination.
“It’s been a great program for the 1st District … so I want to make sure to the best that I can that it survives,” Blum said.
Blum said he’s reached out three times to Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, which is responsible for tax issues, to ensure the credits are included in the reform package. Blum included letters and documents from people in the 1st District showing the credits are a net positive for the federal government.
“It’s a program that pays for itself, which is highly unusual in government, so I made sure that Chairman Brady is aware of that point,” Blum said.
He pointed to successful revitalization efforts in Waterloo’s downtown, Cedar Rapids’ NewBo district and Dubuque’s warehouse district. Blum said such projects attract younger people and keep them in Iowa.
Though details about the tax cut plan are scarce, Blum has generally voiced support. A nine-page framework from Congress and the White House is available at https://waysandmeans.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Tax-Framework.pdf.
“I know we’re not moving as fast as the president would like, and I’m with him on that. But just for Washington, D.C., things take time, and it’s very frustrating,” Blum said. “Let’s do what the people who send us here, let’s do what we told them we were going to do.”
The bill will be introduced this week and is expected to be voted on in the House before Thanksgiving. Congressional leaders hope Republican President Donald Trump signs the bill before the end of the year.
The House voted on the Senate’s budget resolution, with Blum’s support, Thursday. That allows the Senate to pass its tax reform package without the threat of a Democratic filibuster.
Blum has reservations about the budget, but said he supported the bill to expedite tax reform.