US House Republicans' Tax Changes Would Add $1.7 Trillion to National Debt
An independent analysis has concluded the U.S. tax overhaul being advanced by Republican leaders in the House of Representatives would add $1.7 trillion to the country's debt during the next decade, about $259 billion more than previously assumed.
The Congressional Budget Office analysis was released Wednesday as lawmakers continue to consider an array of proposals aimed at cutting the country's corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent and trimming tax rates for many, but not all, middle-class families, broadly defined in the United States as those with an annual household income of $49,000 to $86,000.
The new analysis from the agency that is considered to be the independent scorekeeper for congressional financial policies could complicate Republican plans for the House to adopt the tax overhaul before the country's Thanksgiving holiday on November 23.
Republican lawmakers had pledged the tax cuts over the next decade would not add any more than $1.5 trillion to the country's current and growing long-term debt of more than $20 trillion.
With the CBO's estimate the tax changes would cost more, the majority Republicans in the House would have to change their proposals to keep the additional costs within the $1.5 trillion limit they have imposed on themselves.
The tax overhaul could be the country's first substantial changes to its labyrinth tax code in more than three decades. Senate Republicans are expected to unveil their tax change proposals on Thursday, which are likely to be widely different than the House proposals.
President Donald Trump has called for the tax overhaul, but both chambers of Congress would have to approve identical pieces of tax legislation before he could sign the measure.
Duterte: He'd Tell Trump to “Lay Off” Human Rights Questions
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday that if U.S. President Donald Trump brings up human rights when they meet later this week, he'd tell the American leader to "lay off."
"You want to ask a question, I'll give you an answer. Lay off," Duterte told reporters as he left for an Asia-Pacific conference in Vietnam, where he will see Trump before they also meet again next week in Manila. "That is not your business. That is my business. I take care of my country and I will nurture my country to health."
Duterte has been adamant in defending his country's human rights record and war on drug users, a campaign in which 3,900 Filipinos have been killed in what police say is self-defense after armed suspects have resisted arrest.
Critics, including the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama, say the killings have been extrajudicial with no accountability, allegations the police have rejected.
Duterte was infuriated by the criticism from the United States, a long-time ally, and last year, before Trump's election, called for a military and economic "separation" from the U.S. In the future, he said, the Philippines would align with Russia and China "against the world."
Duterte, however, later eased off the criticism of Washington, saying he was only talking about "separation of foreign policy" and not diminished economic links between the two countries.
The White House has said that Trump could raise human rights questions with Duterte; but, a senior administration official briefing reporters last week about Trump's Asia trip said the two leaders had developed "a warm rapport."
The official said Trump is "very much looking forward to his first meeting with President Duterte."