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House votes to simplify education tax breaks

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 24, 2014 at 8:30 pm •  Published: July 24, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House passed a bill Thursday that would simplify a complicated patchwork of tax breaks for higher education but would exclude many graduate students.

The bill would make permanent a tax credit that provides students with up to $2,500 a year to help pay tuition and related expenses at universities, community colleges and trade and vocational schools. Under current law, the credit is scheduled to expire at the end of 2017.

The credit would replace several overlapping deductions and credits that cover more expenses but can be difficult to navigate. The bill passed by a vote of 227-187.

"Streamlining the number of education provisions and retooling those that are most effective allows us to simplify the code and reduce some of the confusion that exists today," said Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., who sponsored the bill.

The White House says President Barack Obama supports making the tax credit permanent but that the administration opposes the bill because it would add $97 billion to the budget deficit over the next decade. The White House statement stopped short of threatening a veto.

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