House Budget Committee Approves Tax Reform Vehicle

The House Budget Committee passed the fiscal year 2018 budget resolution by a 22-to-14 vote during an evening markup on July 19. The budget resolution, released on July 18 (TAXDAY, 2017/07/19, C.1), is expected to serve as the legislative vehicle for tax reform, according to House leadership’s expressed intentions.

“Through reconciliation, our budget specifically paves the way for pro-growth tax reform that will be deficit neutral and independent of reconciliation instructions for mandatory savings and reforms,” Committee Chair Diane Black, R-Tenn., said during opening statements. “This pro-growth reform will reduce tax rates, simplify the tax code and unleash the potential of the American economy to help those who have been left behind,” she added.

Black said on July 20 that the revenue-neutral budget is” not a normal budget…because of a number of moving parts.” According to Black, the budget sets the stage for tax reform to enable a filibuster-proof vote in the Senate. Republicans agree on about 85 percent of tax reform, Black noted, predicting that the remaining 15 percent that needs to be discussed should be completed by the fall or, at least, by the end of the year.

Democratic members offered 28 amendments, several of which proposed limitations on GOP tax reform efforts. Such proposed limitations included removing reconciliation instructions for tax reform and requiring no tax cuts for higher-income taxpayers. The committee voted down every Democratic amendment.

Ranking member John Yarmuth, D-Ky., released a statement after the budget’s passage in committee, criticizing Republicans for proposing tax cuts for the wealthy.” Their (GOP) budget adopts the worst extremes of the Trump proposal (TAXDAY, 2017/05/24, W.1) by cutting taxes for millionaires and billionaires at the expense of everyone else,” Yarmuth said.

By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Staff

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