What to Know in Washington: Buffet Predicts Tax Rise for Deficit

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Taxes are likely to rise as lawmakers look to narrow the federal deficit, Warren Buffett said, as Washington prepares for major tax negotiations next year.

The Berkshire Hathaway chair and CEO, speaking Saturday at the company’s closely watched annual meeting in Omaha, sidestepped directly commenting on the partisan fight over corporate taxes taking shape. But he said his company will pay whatever the rate is, whether the current 21% or something higher.

“With present fiscal policies, I think that something has to give,” Buffett said. “Higher taxes are quite likely, and if the government wants to take a greater share of your income or mine or Berkshire’s, they can do it. And they may decide that some day they don’t want the fiscal deficit to be this large.”

Photographer: Dan Brouillette/Bloomberg
An attendee holds a cardboard cutout of Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., inside the CHI Health Center during the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Neb. on Saturday, May 4, 2024.

Tax changes enacted under then-President Donald Trump in 2017 lowered the corporate rate to 21% from 35%, along with a series of other changes. Those included several tax cuts affecting individual filers that are poised to expire, teeing up talks next year on what changes to make — negotiations that could lead to a change in the corporate rate. President Joe Biden has called for raising the corporate rate to 28%. Read More


  • The president will return to the White House around 11 a.m. from Wilmington, Del., where he’ll present the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy to the United States Military Academy Army Black Knights around noon.
  • Biden will have lunch with King Abdullah II of Jordan around 1p.m.
  • He and First Lady Jill Biden will host a Cinco de Mayo reception in the Rose Garden around 5:15 pm.
  • Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will hold a briefing around 1:30 p.m.


  • The House will meet at 2 p.m. to consider a number of bills under suspension.
  • Senators return tomorrow.
  • For the full detailed agenda, read BGOV’s Congress Tracker.

From BGOV’s Hill Reporters

A bill intended to keep kids safe ONLINE would do more harm than good and Congress should not include it in must-pass aviation legislation, technology and LGBTQ+ rights groups urged Senate leaders, Oma Seddiq reports.

  • Senators have been angling to attach a slate of bipartisan proposals to aviation legislation expected to be one of the last major bills Congress takes up before the 2024 election.
  • Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) filed an amendment last week to include their Kids Online Safety Act in the measure to reauthorize the FAA. Read More
Photographer: Chris Dilts/Sipa/Bloomberg
Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) will be the top House Democrat on Homeland Security funding negotiations

A new Democrat will take one of the MOST DIFFICULT JOBS on the Hill, helping lead talks to fund the Homeland Security Department, after Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) relinquishes the position, Jack Fitzpatrick reports.

  • Cuellar will relinquish his role as ranking member of the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee after federal officials charged him and his wife with bribery.
  • Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) becomes the youngest current ranking member of an appropriations subcommittee. Read More

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To contact the reporters on this story: Brandon Lee in Washington at blee@bgov.com; Jeannie Baumann in Washington at jbaumann@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kayla Sharpe at ksharpe@bloombergindustry.com; Giuseppe Macri at gmacri@bgov.com

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