>> When Republicans in Congress were looking for savings in their new tax bill, they quickly zeroed in on America's auto dealerships. Hoping to scrap a loophole that lets US car sellers deduct the interest on the vehicles in their lots. The move touched off a massive lobbying effort that ultimately kept the tax break alive In the bill that passed the House.
It's just one side of the battle underway to protect a herd of sacred cows in the US tax code. The carve-outs and exceptions that have now come under threat as Republicans try to slash rates without adding too much to the national deficit. Interest groups like vehicle dealers have managed to persuade, cajole, and even threaten the House to back down.
David Shepherdson is following the story.>> That between now and whenever the House and Senate agree on a bill, if they do, there's gonna be an intense fight by dealers. And other groups to get these little changes in the bill that might seem small but are really important to certain groups.
>> When it first became known that the tax break was at risk. Dealers of automobiles, recreational vehicles, boats, and even farm machinery all began working Congress. Frantically making calls as their lobbyists descended on Capitol Hill. Now the battle moves to the Senate which is taking up its own version of the tax bill desperately sought by President Donald Trump.
Who's still in search of his first major legislative victory.>> The Senate is trying to hold the line, and a lot of changes that groups wanna make for the dealers are sending a letter to the leaders of the Senate. Saying if you don't make this change, we will oppose the bill and urge our dealers to oppose this.
The onslaught is coming from other industries as well. The National Association of Home Builders is pushing for a homeowners tax credit now that the House has limited the amount of mortgage interest that homeowners can deduct. The lobby group brought in 100 builders from around the country to fan out across the capital.
Part of a growing battle by a legion of lobbyists hoping to put their stamp on the first federal tax overhaul in 30 years.