House Republicans have a long-standing goal of dismantling the estate tax, a provision that would provide billions of dollars to states that levy estate taxes on their wealthy residents.
And they are pushing back against President Donald Trump’s proposed $1.5 trillion tax cut package that they say will be more regressive and would not help the economy, according to The American Conservatives.
In a statement, House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said in a statement that the Trump tax cuts would hurt the middle class, as well as the country’s wealthiest citizens.
The Republican plan would cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, end the estate-tax exemption and repeal a popular loophole for estates of more than $5.5 million.
He also said that Republicans’ proposed $500,000 tax deduction for mortgage interest would be eliminated, as would a $10,000 deduction for health insurance premiums.
Trump has argued that he is lowering the tax burden on the middle-class and that Republicans are not offering a fair deal to middle-income taxpayers, arguing that the estate taxes, which are on the top 10 percent of taxpayers, are a burden on small business owners.
In the past, Brady has opposed the estate deduction, saying that it is a tax break that hurts the middle and working class.
In his statement Friday, Brady called on Republicans to “end the unfairness” of the estate exemption.
The estate tax would increase in size, which would cause significant problems for many people, he said.
“It will be particularly harmful to lower-income Americans, who have been hardest hit by this change, and it will further entrench inequality in our society, further erode our ability to compete and create the economic growth that this country desperately needs.”
Brady said that he wants to ensure that the tax code is fair to all Americans and that it doesn’t unfairly benefit the wealthiest and that he will continue to fight for tax reform.
He added that he supports the tax plan put forth by Senate Republicans, but said that the House bill is a “better plan.”
Brady also said in his statement that he opposes “a $500 million deduction for home mortgage interest and $10 million for health care premiums,” saying that both are “too regressive.”
Brady did not respond to requests for comment from ABC News.
In an interview with ABC News earlier this month, Trump said he supports a $500 deduction for a $1 million home purchase, saying it helps “lower the cost of living and gives people more choice.”
Brady, who is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said in the interview that the elimination of the tax deduction is a boon for high-income households.
The House GOP’s plan would provide $1,000 in tax relief for people who are worth $250,000 to $500 for a single-family home.
Brady said the estate exemptions and the deduction for mortgages would benefit a very small percentage of the wealthiest people.
He said he would oppose any tax plan that does not provide those tax benefits.
In recent weeks, the House has been debating whether to extend the estate and death tax exemptions, which expired at the end of 2017.
Brady and Rep. Dave Camp (R, MI) have said they would like to extend those tax breaks for at least two more years, and said in an earlier interview that they would be open to extending them if the Trump administration agreed to a two-year extension.
The extension of those tax deductions expires on Jan. 1, 2019.
The tax cuts Trump is proposing are not included in the House Republican tax bill, and the House is expected to pass the legislation with only Democratic votes.
The Senate is expected, however, to take up the House tax bill and pass it on a party-line vote.
House Republicans’ plan is expected sometime between Tuesday and Thursday, when they return from recess.