New York Republicans want their next speaker to have a taste for SALT.
The state and local tax deduction is once again popping up, this time in the House GOP’s leadership race. Members from the New York delegation are pressing candidates to address what has long been a top priority of theirs.
Both Reps. Anthony D’Esposito and Mike Lawler have raised it with the major speaker candidates, which so far include House Minority Leader Steve Scalise and House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan. Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., is considering making a bid as well.
“Congressman D’Esposito has communicated to all the Speaker candidates that providing relief for New Yorkers on the SALT cap is a policy priority of his, and a major concern for the Long Island communities he represents,” Matt Capp, a D’Esposito spokesperson, said in a statement to Semafor.
“The SALT cap has played a central role in many discussions as the declared Speaker candidates seek the support of the New York delegation,” Capp added.
In addition, Rep. Lawler is “continuing to have those conversations with those seeking his support for leadership positions,” Lawler spokesperson Peter Finocchio told Semafor.
At the moment, New York Republican lawmakers seem more interested in putting SALT on the next speaker’s radar instead of conditioning their vote on it, and are raising other issues as well.
“I would hope that anyone who comes to the New York folks recognizes that SALT is #1,” a House GOP aide in the New York delegation told Semafor.
Other topics the aide said members have raised include overhauling the one-person threshold for the motion to vacate procedure used to oust Kevin McCarthy and shielding moderates from taking politically difficult votes on symbolic bills that stand no chance of becoming law.
A House GOP aide involved in one speakership bid described the situation to Semafor as lawmakers seeking to ensure the next speaker “isn’t just going to brush aside” blue state Republicans.
The SALT cap bedeviled Democrats when they were in the majority, and it’s been a thorn in the side of House GOP leaders as they tried to shepherd a party-line tax bill earlier this summer. In 2017, Republicans imposed the $10,000 cap in order to help cover the cost of their tax cut law, angering voters in high-tax New York and New Jersey.
Ever since, Republican and Democratic lawmakers from New York and New Jersey have demanded the cap be lifted. A contingent of New York Republicans threatened to block the House GOP’s signature tax bill unless Ways and Means Chair Jason Smith agreed to either eliminate or raise the SALT cap from its current $10,000 level, leaving it stalled.
It’s a pricey proposition that many Republicans like Hern oppose.
Kadia Goba contributed to this story.