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Indiana GOP senator carves out dealmaking niche on taxes

Laura Weiss, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON — Sen. Todd Young has a pitch to clear a path forward on tax legislation after a partisan standoff last year gave way to a monthslong chill. He’d pair a more generous research and development benefit for businesses with affordable housing measures to aid low-income families.

Both are bipartisan projects Young leads on the GOP side. Tying them together, he hopes, could satisfy Democrats’ demand to pair tax breaks for companies with provisions to boost the social safety net while avoiding an expansion of the child tax credit that currently lacks Republican backing.

“I think that might be a sweet spot where we can come to terms and everyone can accomplish something important for the country,” the Indiana Republican said in an interview.

A select crew of senators is known for doing the work to cut deals across the aisle, and Young is positioned to emerge as a key player in tax talks this year.

He’s the lead Republican on a bill with Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., to restore full, upfront deductions for companies’ research and development costs and expand tax credits for small businesses, and on a proposal with Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., to create a tax credit for building or rehabilitating homes in higher-poverty areas.

Young also leads bipartisan bills — yet to be reintroduced this year — that would expand a tax credit for affordable rental units housing low-income tenants and require disclosure on zoning-related policies from state and local governments receiving housing grants, which is meant to discourage discriminatory regulations.


While Young remains a conservative voice, his voting record in 2022 shifted to his most bipartisan yet, according to CQ Vote Studies data. He voted with his party 76 percent of the time, his lowest mark since joining the House in 2011 and Senate in 2017.

In contrast, Indiana’s other Republican senator, Mike Braun, stuck with the GOP in 98% of votes, as did Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind. Braun is running for Indiana governor in 2024, and Banks is among those making a bid for his Senate seat. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates both races “solid Republican.”

Young has also notched recent wins as a bipartisan negotiator focused on foreign policy and competitiveness issues, including a repeal of Iraq-related military authorizations that passed this week and a package to boost domestic microchip manufacturing and scientific research that became law last summer.

Young’s role in the chips bill and other bipartisan negotiations stemmed from an interest in maintaining U.S. competitiveness and growing high-quality, high-paying domestic jobs, according to an aide, who also noted the interest in R&D back home in Indiana.


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