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An AMT patch for a pay-go promise

Congressman Charles Rangel at a press conference, unveiling legislation that would repeal the alternative minimum tax.

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: The mother of all tax reform bills may be off the table for now. But it's daughter is due to be born this morning.

Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel is unveiling a one-year patch for the Alternative Minimum Tax, or AMT. He says it would save millions of Americans from a tax hike next year. Jeremy Hobson has more from Washington.


Jeremy Hobson: In the past, when Congress has put the cork in the AMT bottle, they've simply added to the deficit.

But when Democrats came to power last year, they made a promise to pay as they go.
So the question on Capitol Hill is, will the AMT patch keep the Dems from keeping the pay-go promise?

Ken Kies: It's more likely that they will end up waiving pay-go and work out something with the president that he's willing to sign.

Ken Kies is a lobbyist with the Federal Policy Group. He says the Senate is unlikely to accept some of the tax increases Rangel probably has in mind to offset the cuts.

But Aviva Aron-Dine with the Center on Budget Policy and Priorities says pay-go or not, an AMT patch is almost certain.

Aviva Aron-Dine: It's extremely unlikely that the AMT would simply be allowed to grow this year. That should not be a concern that's keeping taxpayers up at night.

Without a fix soon, Rangel says 23 million taxpayers would face increases next year.

In Washington, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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