Today In Washington
November 16, 2017
Source: AEO Government Relations Team, Madison Services Group
Tax Reform: First, the House
Today, the House will vote on H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” Prior to the vote, the President is expected at the weekly GOP conference meeting to rally members in support of the bill. H.R. 1 is expected to pass by a slight majority, with a number of GOP members from high-tax states like New York and New Jersey defecting due to the near total repeal of the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction. You can find the updated small business provisions of H.R. 1 here. Following the vote, the House is expected to adjourn for the Thanksgiving holiday break.
Meanwhile, in the Senate
Today, the Senate Finance Committee will continue debate on its tax reform proposal. Yesterday, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) came out against both the House and Senate versions of tax reform, with several more Senators undecided, as he believes it does not go far enough in providing relief for the middle-class. This is expected to prompt further changes to the revised Chairman’s Mark released late Tuesday evening. Reconciliation language provided in the FY 2018 Budget Resolution allows for a simple majority of 50+1 to pass the bill once legislative text is passed out of the Senate Finance Committee. This means that the Senate GOP can only afford to lose two Senators if they expect to pass the bill, with Vice President Mike Pence providing the 51st vote. Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT) anticipates a long day of debate, and has not ruled out the possibility of debate continuing through Friday, and into Saturday morning.
The federal government is operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR) until December 8. Due to the tax reform debate, House Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Tom Cole (R-OK) says it is “almost a certainty” that Congress will pass a short-term CR to provide Congressional appropriators more time to craft an omnibus funding bill for the remainder of FY 2018.
Today @ 11 a.m.: Senate Finance Committee hearing – “Continuation of the Open Executive Session to Consider an Original Bill Entitled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” 216 Hart Senate Office Building.