Washington – Twenty-one Republican Attorney General Biden administration pressed On Tuesday to clarify a provision in $ 1.9 trillion funding package That president Signed into law last weekWarning that its ban on state efforts to cut taxes could be “the largest invasion of state sovereignty by Congress in the history of our Republic”.
Seven page letter It was signed by a host of Republican officials, including the Attorney General of Texas, Arizona, Georgia and Utah. They take issue with an embargo that lawmakers put in a $ 350 billion relief effort for state, local and tribal governments that prohibits them from using federal money “directly or indirectly as a result of the tax net tax revenue To make up for the shortfall. ” These governments have hurt revenue and hired more than one million public employees during the coronavirus epidemic.
The law requires the federal government to repay any money that violates those conditions.
In their letter, Republican officials asked Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen to clarify how much their department would interpret that part of the law. Does it prohibit states from using federal dollars to compensate for new tax cuts, or instead prevent tax cuts for any reason, even if those cuts were in the works before the law was passed? Officials said the broad ban would be harmful and unconstitutional.
The attorney general wrote, “This language can be read to negate the ability to cut taxes in any way – even if they provided such tax relief with or without the possibility of a Kovid-19 relief fund.” Ho.” “Get a more sensible interpretation from your department, this provision would be necessary for an unprecedented and unconstitutional intrusion on the individual sovereignty of the states through the federal usury of essentially one half of the state’s fiscal leaders.” “- The ability to collect revenue.
For example, Oklahoma has already cut income taxes through its House of Representatives, including an extension of the state’s earned income tax credit to help low-income workers, the state’s attorney general, Mike Hunter said a statement on Tuesday. “But,” he warned, “the federal stimulus bill could prevent Oklahoma from providing this economic relief without losing its share of federal money.”
A White House spokesman declined to comment on the letter Tuesday evening. A Treasury Department spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment.
Republican lawmakers in Washington and across the country first voiced concern over the provision.
“We were planning to reduce sales tax on used cars, lower income and middle income,” Arkansas government official As Hutchinson said Sunday. “And now we are worried about whether it is going to be prohibited under this bill. The language seems to be that. “