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All in a Late Night’s Work: Senate Passes Tax Bill

At approximately 2:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, the Senate passed its tax reform bill with a vote of 51-49. Changes to the bill, including some handwritten into the document, were made leading up to the final vote. The only Republican to vote against the bill was Senator Bob Corker who has continued concerns regarding the estimated $1+ trillion deficit over the next 10 years. Corker...

Senate May Vote on Its Tax Reform Bill as Early as Thursday, but There Are Hurdles to Overcome

At least a half dozen Republican senators have shown concern about the Senate version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, threatening the passage of the bill by the end of this year. The bill, passed out of the Senate Finance Committee on November 17, faces its next major hurdle from the Senate Budget Committee who will meet Tuesday, November 28, to add a revenue-raising measure allowing...

Senate Will Not Release Bill Until House Finishes Markup

The House Ways and Means Committee  continues the markup process that began on Monday.  No new amendments were agreed to in yesterday’s markup session but the state and local tax deduction and pass-through entities remain key issues in the debate concerning the legislation.  The House’s negotiation process has important implications for the Senate timeline as the Senate bill will not...

Trump Tempers Tax Reform Timing Expectations

President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, at an October 16th White House news conference, acknowledged that the tax code rewrite may not occur by year’s end, though the goal remains to accomplish reform in 2017.  With the release of a detailed tax plan still pending, Republicans are faced with disputes regarding how to tax corporations, the fate of the estate tax, and...

Senators Corker and Toomey Reach Tentative Budget Resolution Deal

Bob Corker and Pat Toomey, GOP members of the Senate Budget Committee, have reached a tentative agreement on a budget resolution that would allow for tax cuts that would significantly increase the deficit as determined using static scoring.  While the Senators did not specify the size of the potential deficit increase, Senator Ron Johnson indicated that he would support an amount of at...

The ‘Big 6’ Are Making Progress on Tax Reform Framework

The White House and Congressional Republicans have reached broad agreement on several potential offsets to fund tax cuts, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.  Present options include capping the mortgage interest deduction, eliminating the state and local tax deduction, and eliminating the interest deduction for businesses.  Additionally, there is consensus among the...

GOP Fears President’s Volatile Relationships Could Jeopardize Tax Reform

President Trump’s declining relationship with his party and the business community could endanger passage of a tax reform bill.  House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady stated that tax reform, which he described as the “signature issue of this presidency,” can only succeed if the President “gets on board and stays on board.”  In the wake of distracting events and the...

GOP Considers Hybrid Approach to Tax Reform

Congressional tax committee members and the White House are discussing tax reform that combines permanent revisions to the tax code with temporary rate cuts for individuals and businesses.  The proposal is a potential solution for Republicans if the party opts to utilize the reconciliation process, which limits the life of tax cuts adding 10 years to the federal deficit. (The effect of...

Republicans Divided Between Tax Reform and Tax Cuts

Facing a low presidential approval rating, failed health care reform, and impending midterm elections, the GOP wants to move quickly on tax legislation but is undecided on the actual package to present.  Some Republicans support scaling back reform to focus on tax cuts, in the hope of avoiding drawn out negotiations over eliminating tax expenditures and closing loopholes.  Other party...

White House Amenable to Bipartisan Tax Reform

White House officials, unwilling to repeat the Obamacare repeal failure and keenly aware of intraparty dissidence, have been discussing tax reform with House Democrats.  Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and chief economic advisor Gary Cohn have been meeting with members of the House’s Blue Dog Coalition and the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus to drum up support for reform.  While...

Senate Budget Committee Considers Appropriate Baseline Measure

Senate Budget Chairman Michael Enzi confirmed that he intends to mark up a fiscal 2018 budget resolution in September.  First, however, the Budget Committee will need to agree on how to measure the resolution, using either the current policy baseline or current law baseline.  The former method, which reduces projected federal revenue by approximately $460 billion over 10 years, assumes...

McConnell Confirms Intent to Use Budget Reconciliation to Pass Tax Reform

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in response to the Senate Democratic Caucus’s August 1st letter urging bipartisan tax reform, stated that the GOP will need to utilize the reconciliation process to avoid a Senate filibuster.  He suggested that the demands set forth by Senate Democrats indicated that they did not share Republican priorities regarding tax reform.  However,...

Joint Statement on Tax Reform Issued; BAT Abandoned

Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) issued a joint statement on tax reform that sets out a broad framework for moving forward on tax reform. Most notably,...

GOP to Release Tax Reform Framework

The top Republican tax negotiators are expected to unveil a broad set of agreed tax reform principles prior to the Congressional recess.  The anticipated framework is the result of ongoing deliberations between the “big six”:  Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, House Ways and Means Committee chairman Kevin Brady, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Finance Committee chairman...

White House Reconsidering Corporate Tax Rate Goal

The Trump Administration, according to White House officials and advisors, is considering a corporate tax rate of 20 percent to 25 percent.  While this estimate is higher than the 15 percent rate set forth in the Administration’s one-page tax proposal issued in April, one senior administration official explained that the April figure was a starting point for negotiations, with the...


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