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Sinema blows up Dems' plans to tax high earners, corporations

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Democrats have a Kyrsten Sinema problem when it comes to raising taxes.

As they seek to finalize President Joe Biden’s social spending plan by the end of the week, Sinema (D-Ariz.) remains opposed to one of the party's chief goals of raising tax rates on high-income earners and corporations, a long-sought objective since former President Donald Trump signed his 2017 tax cut law.

Now, party leaders are working behind the scenes to target the wealthy and corporate America without crossing what increasingly appears like a red line to Sinema, according to Democratic lawmakers and aides following the bill.

Though Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has advocated raising rates on high-income earners, corporations and capital gains, Sinema has landed to the right of Manchin on tax policy. And Democrats need to choose, quickly, to keep trying to convince Sinema or to craft workarounds that she can accept.

“That’s not worked out in our caucus,” said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.). “There is strong support in our caucus to raise the corporate rate. And it depends how you do it for high earners … I don’t think she’s opposed to some of the issues for high-income [taxpayers].”

The decision on taxes represents a fork in the road on one of Democrats’ primary political goals. Many lawmakers who now make up the front lines of the party’s thin majorities campaigned on raising the rates from where Trump left them, at 37 percent for high-earners and 21 percent for corporations.

And many Democrats have grown frustrated with how much control Sinema is exerting, and the secretive way she wields it.

“This is a guessing game with Senator Sinema. Yeah, we're all supposed to be on the same team. And that means transparency, communication and collaboration. Without it, it makes this significantly more challenging,” said........

© Politico

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