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Today in Washington: December 1, 2017

December 1, 2017

Source: AEO Government Relations Team, Madison Services Group


Tax Reform: “Hold, Please” 

Yesterday, the Joint Committee on Taxation released their dynamic score of the Senate’s “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” The report stated that, even taking into account the expected economic growth anticipated by the tax cuts, the bill will still add $1 trillion to the deficit over ten years. The Senate Parliamentarian then told GOP Leadership that the proposed “deficit trigger” — a proposal that would automatically raises some taxes if revenue targets are not met — was not compliant with Senate rules, and could not be included in the bill. This all led into a vote that nearly sent the bill back to the Senate Finance Committee. After eventually voting the amendment down following over an hour of intense negotiations to placate deficit-hawk Senators Bob Corker (R-TN), James Lankford (R-OK) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), the GOP began negotiating revisions to the bill. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) stated last night that GOP Leadership has not given up on the idea of some sort of deficit trigger. Proposals under discussion to raise revenues include tax escalators — tax increases set to kick in automatically at a predetermined date — according to Senator David Perdue (R-GA). Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) said another proposal being discussed was applying the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) to corporations and high-income individuals. As a reminder, the Senate bill includes a complete repeal of the AMT.  

Additionally, Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) said new bill language will increase the deduction for pass-throughs from 17.4% to 23%, ensuring the support of Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI). The Senate is expected to resume the vote-o-rama at 11 a.m.  

Appropriations Watch 

Today, House GOP Leadership is expected to meet to discuss a two-week continuing appropriations resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through December 22. This is designed to provide Congressional appropriators with extra time to negotiate an omnibus for the balance of FY 2018.  

Legislation

H.R. 4473, the “Veteran Entrepreneurs Act of 2017,” introduced by Representative Claudia Tenney (R-NY). This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow tax credits to veterans for the establishment of franchises.


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