After speculation on Tuesday that a State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction cap lift had been removed from the Build Back Better plan, Politico reported yesterday that not only is it back, it was likely never gone to begin with.
According to Politico, President Joe Biden’s answer to a question from Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) led many House members to believe that lifting the SALT cap was no longer part of the deal. Gottheimer and other House moderates in states heavily impacted by SALT then immediately began pressing congressional leadership, especially Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), to put it back in the bill.
“We were moving toward a solution on that when all of a sudden Schumer took over the discussion,” Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) said in the midst of the chaos. “He became a puppy. And you can’t be a puppy now, this is hard stuff.”
But the panic was potentially for naught; Biden’s answer may have simply been misleading to begin with. Regardless, in part thanks to Schumer’s intervention, SALT is apparently still in the bill, though Politico noted that senior Democrats say it isn’t yet a sure thing.
At least four New Jersey House members – Gottheimer, Pascrell, Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes), and Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) – have said that their support for the reconciliation deal is contingent on SALT.
Other New Jersey Democrats, among them Gov. Phil Murphy, have expressed strong support for removing the cap but have proven less willing to issue ultimatums on the overall reconciliation bill.
Biden is scheduled to visit the state on Monday for an infrastructure-related event.