It’s the Senate’s turn after House OKs GOP Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

By Rachel del Guidice | The Daily Signal

Following the House’s 227-205 vote Thursday to pass its version of the Republicans’ tax reform bill, all eyes now move to the Senate, where a committee vote is expected Friday.

“I commend [House] Speaker Paul Ryan, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, and all the members of the House who have worked tirelessly to get this critical bill through their chamber,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement, adding:

“Through regular order and an open and transparent amendment process, the members of the Senate’s tax-writing committee are also making real progress on a bill that’s been years in the making, to fulfill our promise to the American people.”

Ryan called the vote on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act “historic.”

The House Republican tax plan, released Nov. 2 by Brady, R-Texas; Ryan, R-Wis.; and other GOP members, condenses the current seven tax brackets to three, nearly doubles the standard deduction, and caps the amount taxpayers can write off in state taxes at $10,000.

The House bill passed on a straight party-line vote, with 13 Republicans joining all Democrats in voting against it.

The Senate Republican tax plan, released Nov. 8, eliminates the state and local tax deduction and keeps the current seven brackets, but lowers rates.

The Senate Finance Committee is expected to vote its version of the tax reform bill out of committee on Friday, according to The New York Times, with a full Senate vote expected after Thanksgiving.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who has voted with Democrats against repealing Obamacare, is reportedly having a more difficult time coming to a “yes” vote on the Senate Republicans’ tax reform plan since McConnell announced Tuesday that a repeal of Obamacare’s individual health insurance mandate would be added to the Senate version of the tax bill.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., announced Wednesday that he would not vote for the Senate tax plan as it stands.

“I’m not going to vote for this tax package,” the second-term lawmaker said.

A senior Senate conservative aide told The Daily Signal in an email Thursday that he thinks Johnson “will be a ‘yes’ when it’s time to vote.”

President Donald Trump has made passing an overhaul of the federal tax code a goal for his first year in office and, in a tweet, praised the House’s passage of the bill.

Adam Michel, a tax policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, praised the House’s passage of the bill in a statement provided to The Daily Signal.

“The tax reform bill passed by the House today will provide significant tax relief for many American families. It is pro-worker and will lead to greater economic growth,” Michel said, adding:

While the bill is a positive start, there are many areas where the plan can be improved to unleash additional economic growth. Making expensing permanent, fully eliminating the property tax deduction, eliminating the additional fourth tax bracket, and limiting the scope of the new international minimum taxes are good places to start.

There is still much work to do, and Congress should seize on every opportunity to improve the current tax plan to further enhance the proposed reforms’ benefits for all Americans.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Public domain