Democratic Rep. John B. Larson of Connecticut, chairman of the Social Security Subcommittee, said he still expects a markup this month for his bill intended to fill Social Security's projected $13.2 trillion shortfall over the next 75 years. Larson's bill would raise Social Security payroll taxes and also apply the tax at higher income thresholds. Currently, no one pays Social Security taxes on more than $132,900, while under Larson's bill individuals would start paying it on income over $400,000.
Meanwhile, Neal said his discussions with Republicans on an array of tax issues have not yet "taken form."
Neal referred to a meeting he had with Senate Finance Chairman Charles E. Grassley, an Iowa Republican, in mid-summer that "went pretty well." At the meeting, Neal talked about his interest in expanding both the earned-income and child tax credits and that Grassley "had a couple things he was very interested in," Neal said.
"I think at the end of the year, there's going to be a pretty aggressive notion of activity here as we try to define some of those positions," Neal said.
Grassley has sought movement on his bill to renew lapsed tax breaks through the end of this year, enabling taxpayers to file amended returns for the 2018 tax year as well. But that bill has stalled in a dispute with the House over the scope of tax extender legislation.
There's also the matter of pay-as-you-go rules. Neal's tax extender bill relies on ending the more generous GOP-backed estate tax exemption in the 2017 law three years early, after 2022. Senate Republicans have called that provision a nonstarter.
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