Democratic Rep. Jared Golden Says He'll Vote Against Build Back Better Over Tax Cut

Democratic Representative Jared Golden announced on Thursday that he will not vote for the Build Back Better Act in its current form in what could be a blow to the party's hopes of passing the bill.

Golden, who represents Maine's 2nd congressional district, issued a statement highlighting a potential tax cut for wealthy Americans contained in the $1.75 trillion legislation.

Democrats delayed a vote on the bill which was due on Thursday after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy delivered a marathon speech on the House floor which was still ongoing at the time of writing on early Friday morning.

Golden cited a rise in the cap on the amount of state and local taxes people can claim as a federal deduction as a reason for opposing the bill.

The current cap is $10,000 a year but the Democrats' proposal would raise that to $80,000 through 2030.

The so-called SALT deduction is meant to ensure taxpayers do not pay twice for local services but Golden argued this change would benefit millionaires.

"I believe we've made progress so far, but there is still time left, and it's not too late to do better. I will be voting 'no' tonight, but that doesn't mean I will oppose a final version of this bill if some meaningful changes are made to this legislation," Golden's statement said.

"First and foremost, the president has committed not only that this bill will be paid for but also that the wealthy will pay for it," the statement went on.

"Unfortunately, the bill before us today does not meet either of those tests. As it stands, the largest single provision in the Build Back Better Act is a $280 billion tax giveaway to millionaires, and the bill has abandoned the opportunity to adopt a tax on billionaires that would ensure that the ultra wealthy pay taxes just like working people," he went on.

"I can't accept that these wealthy giveaways represent the best deal I can get for my constituents," Golden said.

The SALT deduction was capped at $10,000 under the Trump administration in 2017. There had been no cap before that point.

Democrats had earlier proposed increasing the cap to $72,500.

The Tax Policy Center (TPC), a nonpartisan think tank, found that rise would "provide little or no benefit for low- and middle-income households, but generate a substantial tax windfall for those with much higher incomes."

However, Golden said his statement on Thursday was not "the final word" on his support for the Build Back Better Act and expressed openness to voting for a revised version of the bill.

"The Senate must take up and pass legislation, which would then come back to the House for final consideration," Golden's statement said. "For as much as the public and media have talked about reconciliation over the past few months, the legislative process is not yet complete. I will continue to stay at the table and negotiate for the best deal possible until the very last opportunity."

Golden, who is considered a moderate, has expressed concerns about the Build Back Better Act and along with some of his colleagues, he wanted to see a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score for the bill before committing to voting for it.

Democrats have a slim majority in the House and will have to pass the Build Back Better Act without Republican support. The bill has also proved divisive within the party and every "no" vote endangers passage of the legislation.

Jared Golden Walks Through the Capitol
U.S. Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) walks through the U.S. Capitol building on November 5, 2021 in Washington, DC. Golden has said he will not vote for the Build Back Better Act in its present form, citing a tax deduction that he said will benefit millionaires. Allison Shelley/Getty Images