House passes tax plan, the bill Young says will open ANWR

Rep. Don Young is in Washington, D.C. office. Photo: Liz Ruskin

The U.S. House on Thursday passed a tax cut package. Like all but 13 Republicans, Alaska Congressman Don Young voted for the bill.

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“There’s some people saying it’s not so good, but overall if the actuarial figures are good, it’ll be about $3,000 in every tax-paying family’s pocket, that they didn’t have before,” Young said after the vote. “That’s how much the cut’s going to be.”

Democrats say the House bill gives and outsized tax cut to the wealthy. A fact sheet issued by the Democratic National Committee says 11 percent of middle-income Alaska households would face a tax increase, of $600 on average. The figure comes from a report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a left-leaning think tank.

The House bill does not include opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. Young says the plan is to pass ANWR in the Senate version of the bill, and then fight for it in the conference committee, where the two chambers negotiate their differences and write a final version.

“I expect the House to concede to the Senate on the ANWR provisions and become a reality,” Young said. “Again, though, I want to warn people don’t go to the bank right away, because it’s a long ways betwixt and between.”

The Senate hopes to pass its bill after Thanksgiving.