It’s been nearly two weeks since Senate Republicans passed their version of tax reform, and progress has been made in reconciling their bill with the House version that passed a month ago.
Just to provide a summary on what’s in the Senate Republican tax reform plan and how it contrasts with the House’s version, below is tabled the notable differences between the two.
As you noticed, there’s a bonus repeal of the individual mandate in the Senate bill, which would tear the heart out of Obamacare. The overwhelming majority of those who would “lose” coverage in absence of the Obamacare mandate are simply those who would choose to not purchase health insurance when not fined.
Unless the House bill adopts the language of the Senate’s bill, a conference committee has to produce a report that addresses all the differences between the House and Senate bills, and then have the conference report be approved by both chambers.
Now, Republicans say they have a deal.
According to the New York Times,
House and Senate Republicans have reached an agreement, in principle, on a consensus tax bill on Wednesday, keeping the party on track for final votes next week with the aim of delivering a bill to President Trump’s desk by Christmas, according to people briefed on the deal.
Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the majority whip, told reporters that Republicans will be briefed on the deal today, and that he is confident it will be approved next week.
Santa will be bringing tax reform this Christmas – but what of the details?
The agreement drops the corporate tax down to 21 percent from 35 percent. Trump had hoped for a rate of 20 percent, but 21 percent is hardly a “loss.” The rate will actually now take effect in 2018 as opposed to 2019 like the Senate bill stipulated, giving corporate America (and thus your stock portfolio) an earnings boost a year earlier than expected. The top marginal tax rate will also decline to 37 percent from 39.6 percent.
President Trump was preparing to deliver what administration officials called a “closing argument” for the tax bill on Wednesday. Mr. Trump will be flanked by five families the administration says would benefit from the bill’s tax cuts, and he will pitch the legislation as an opportunity to improve economic mobility and “restore the American dream,” those officials said.
Oregon Senator Ron Wyder has called for a vote on the tax bill to be halted until Doug Jones – the man who defeated Roy Moore for Alabama’s Senate seat last night – takes office.
Republicans, meanwhile, have showed no indication of waiting, and it wouldn’t make a difference anyway. The Senate passed the Republican tax reform measure 51-49, so even with Jones in office, Republicans still have a majority thanks to Vice President Mike Pence’s tie-breaking vote.
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