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White House Won't Seek To End 529 College Tax Break

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

News is like the weather. If you don't like it, wait a little while; it'll change. Yesterday, we told you about a controversial plan from the president to get rid of a tax break on college savings accounts known as 529s. Well, as NPR's Tamara Keith reports, the White House is now dropping that proposal.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Currently, when families pull money out of 529 accounts to pay for college, any investment earnings are tax-free. President Obama wanted to change that as part of an effort to simplify and expand education tax breaks. But lawmakers on both sides of the aisle hated the proposal, including House Speaker John Boehner.

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REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: For the sake of middle-class families, the president ought to withdrawal this tax increase from his budget when he submits it.

KEITH: Meanwhile, aides confirmed that on Air Force One, on the way to Saudi Arabia, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi pressed administration officials to drop the 529 provision. A White House official says it had become such a, quote, "distraction," the administration is no longer asking Congress to pass it. Tamara Keith, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.