The Senate Budget Committee on September 29 unveiled its fiscal year 2018 budget resolution (BR). The Republican BR will serve as the legislative vehicle to pass tax reform legislation with only a simple majority.
According to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the FY 2018 BR will serve as the first step toward tax reform. “This budget is especially important because it will allow us to get to work on our pro-growth, pro-family, pro-jobs tax reform plan,” McConnell said in a September 29 statement. “Without it, Democrats will continue to play partisan politics and obstruct our efforts to get our economy flourishing and growing at its full potential.”
Although the White House and GOP congressional leaders continue to say that they are open to bipartisan tax reform, the BR will allow Republicans to approve tax reform legislation through the reconciliation process with no Democratic support. Under the resolution, a draft tax reform bill must be submitted to the Budget Committee no later than November 13.
“This is at least a $1.5 trillion-dollar giveaway in tax cuts for the rich that reeks of Republican hypocrisy and flies in the face of fiscal responsibility,” Senate Finance Committee (SFC) ranking member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said in a September 29 statement. “It is a giant step in the opposite direction of developing real tax reform that is long-term, bipartisan and is at least as progressive as current law,” he added.
The BR’s reconciliation instructions would allow the SFC to reduce revenues and increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years for comprehensive tax reform. However, according to Senate Budget Committee Chair Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., the BR will provide an on-budget surplus of $197 billion in 2027 due to “fiscal cuts and economic growth.”
The BR also renews the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Joint Committee on Taxation’s authority to use dynamic scoring and instructs that the particular scoring method, which considers budgetary effects of macroeconomic variables, be used while evaluating legislation. More generally, the dynamic scoring allows for the impact of economic growth to be considered in the CBO and JCT’s final cost estimate.
The BR is scheduled to be considered in committee during the week of October 2. A floor vote is expected sometime in early October.
By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Staff
Text of the FY2018 Senate Budget Resolution
Title by Title Summary – FY 2018 Budget Resolution