House Republicans pass tax bill
Attention shifts to progress in Senate
House Republicans passed their tax reform bill on Thursday, as deliberations on a Senate bill continue. If the Senate bill passes, the House and Senate would then have to negotiate a reconciled bill in conference committee.
The drama-free lead up to this week’s vote in the House is in stark contrast to the contentious healthcare legislation debate earlier this year, which eventually led to passage of a House bill, only to die in the Senate.
As was the case with healthcare legislation, which was able to pass the House with much fanfare last May before running aground, the real obstacles may come in the Senate. Or, as the Hill reports, the fireworks might come in House-Senate conference deliberations needed to work out the significant differences between the two bills.
Local tax deductions may be a key sticking point. Representative Tom MacArther (R-N.J.) was able to come around to a “yes” vote on the House bill after leaders agreed to keep local property tax deductions, but those same deductions would be scrapped entirely under the Senate bill.
“I did what I feel I had to do on the SALT [deductions] front in the House bill, and now it’s time for me to vote ‘yes’ and then move into the next phase,” MacArthur was quoted as saying. “I fought for the things that matter the most.”
“The House bill is not perfect, but it’s enough for me to say ‘yes,’ ” he said, “And then the rest of what I’m fighting for I’ll work to get in the House-Senate conference.”