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Sanders: Reinstating SALT deduction 'sends a terrible, terrible message'

The Hill logo The Hill 5/10/2021 Joseph Choi
a man wearing a suit and tie: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) © Greg Nash Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said in an interview aired Sunday that removing the cap on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction "sends a terrible, terrible message."

Axios reporter Jonathan Swan asked Sanders how he felt about removing the SALT deduction cap, which was put in place by former President Trump.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have put their support behind doing so. Swan noted that it is essentially "a tax break for rich people in blue states."

"It sends a terrible, terrible message when you have Republicans telling us that this is a tax break for the rich," Sanders said.


Video: Why this lawmaker wants to reinstate SALT deductions (CNBC)

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"In fairness to Schumer and Pelosi, it is hard when you have tiny margins, but you have got to make it clear which side you are on - and you can't be on the side of the wealthy and powerful if you're going to really fight for working families," Sanders added.

The cap put in place by Trump limits SALT deductions to $10,000. Lawmakers from high-tax, Democratic-leaning have condemned the cap and long called for it to be repealed.

Though repealing the cap was not included in President Biden's infrastructure plan, many prominent Democrats such as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and California Gov. Gavin Newsom have voiced their support for such an action.

"Like so many of President Trump's efforts, capping SALT deductions was based on politics, not logic or good government," a group of seven Democratic governors wrote in a letter to the White House. "This assault disproportionately targeted Democratic-run states, increasing taxes on hardworking families."

Updated on May 10 at 6 a.m.

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