House and Senate Make Progress on Tax Reform

After four days of debate this week, the House Ways and Means Committee approved a bill to rewrite the tax code. H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, was approved on a party-line vote of 24-16. The House Rules Committee will meet on Wednesday at noon to consider the measure, and the full House is expected to vote on the bill on the House floor next Thursday.

The Senate Finance Committee released a description of the Chairman’s Mark of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” this week. To comply with the rules of the Senate, the measure cannot add more than $1.5T to the debt over 10 years. The committee plans to make adjustments to the legislation during markup next week as Democrats could make a procedural challenge under the Senate’s Byrd Rule if the bill increases annual deficits after the first 10 years.

The Senate Finance Committee will begin consideration of the bill on Monday at 3 PM. And the week of November 27 is possible for Senate floor consideration of the tax reform bill. Senate reconciliation rules require 20 hours of debate followed by a “vote-a-rama.” After the House and Senate pass their respective tax bills, they are expected to quickly appoint conferees and begin to work out the differences in their bills in a conference committee in December.

The conference committee will have a number of differences to resolve. Because Republicans can only lose two votes in the Senate, the final bill may more closely resemble the Senate’s plan than the House’s plan.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) released a four-page reconciliation bill this week that would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska to oil and gas drilling. The FY18 budget resolution reconciliation instructions required Murkowski’s committee to come up with $1B in revenue over the next 10 years. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the measure would net $1.092B over the next decade. The bill will be marked up in committee on November 15 at 9 AM. Democrats and environmental groups oppose the measure.

House Rules Committee Print of H.R. 1:

Congressional Budget Office Estimate of H.R. 1:

Description of Senate Finance Committee Chairman’s Mark of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”:’s%20Mark.pdf

Joint Committee on Taxation Score of Senate Draft Proposal:

Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate of Proposed ANWR Legislation:

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