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Today in Washington: December 4, 2017

December 4, 2017

Source: AEO Government Relations Team, Madison Services Group


Tax Reform: Next Stop, Conference

In the early morning hours of Saturday, the Senate passed the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”. To ensure the support of wavering GOP Senators, sections of the bill were being rewritten as late as Friday evening. The resulting revisions raised the deduction for pass-through entities from 17.4% to 23%, earning the support of Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI). Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) signaled her support of the bill when the Senate inserted the House language for State and Local Taxes (SALT), which maintains a provision allowing for the deduction of property taxes up to $10,000. The bill passed on a 51-49 vote. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), concerned about the bill’s impact on the national deficit, was the lone GOP senator voting against the measure.  

The Senate will now conference its bill with the House version to come up with a single bill to send to the President. Among major differences between the two, the House bill generally taxes pass-through entities at a 25% rate. The Senate also maintains seven individual tax brackets and sets them to expire, whereas the House reduces them to four, and makes them permanent.  

Appropriations Watch: On the Clock 

Congressional GOP Leadership has been meeting over the course of the last two weeks to negotiate appropriations for the balance of FY 2018, with funding set to run out this Friday. They are leaning toward a short-term continuing appropriations resolution, through December 22, to provide more time for Congressional appropriators to negotiate an omnibus to fund the government for the balance of FY 2018.  

Legislation

S. 2165, “Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Equitable Rebuild Act of 2017,” introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). This bill provides $250 million for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI) for costs relating to disaster relief. It also provides $2.7 billion of loan authority for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Disaster Loan Program for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  

Hearings

Thursday @ 2 p.m.: House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions & Consumer Credit - “Legislative Proposals for a More Efficient Federal Financial Regulatory Regime: Part II.”  2128 Rayburn House Office Building.


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