Senate Preps for Tax Reform as House Readies Its Draft for November 1 Unveiling

The House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to release draft tax reform legislation on November 1 with a markup beginning one week later on November 6 (TAXDAY, 2017/10/27, C.1 ). The markup is expected to go on for several days, ensuring Democratic lawmakers have “ample time” to weigh-in on the policy proposals in the legislation, according to Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Tex. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has indicated a Thanksgiving deadline for moving legislation through the House.

The Senate is reportedly gearing up to release its own tax reform legislation in the coming days. The Senate Finance Committee (SFC) will mark up its tax reform bill the week of November 13, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Tex., told reporters. “We need to get the tax bill out of the Senate before Thanksgiving,” he said. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., also confirmed on October 26 that Senate Republicans are looking to pass tax reform legislation by Thanksgiving. Under that schedule, House and Senate leadership will likely then move both bills to conference committee negotiation, where members and the Trump administration will try to agree on final bill language, for a vote by the House and the Senate before Christmas recess.

Several Democrats, including SFC ranking member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., have been critical of the pace with which Republicans are moving forward on tax reform. “They are rushing their tax giveaway to big corporations and the wealthy through the Congress so quickly that nobody catches on,” Wyden said on the Senate floor on October 26.

Child Tax Credit

Meanwhile, two Senate Democrats are focused on expanding the Child Tax Credit. Sens. Michael F. Bennet, D-Colo., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, introduced the American Family Bill of 2017 on October 26. “The bill would create a new $300-per-month, per-child credit for children under 6 years of age and a $250-per-month, per-child credit for children 6 to 18 years of age—therefore, at least tripling the credit (now at $1,000 per year) for all children and, for the first time, making the credit fully refundable,” according to Bennet’s press release.

The White House has also been promoting an expanded Child Tax Credit. Ivanka Trump, a senior advisor to President Trump, has been meeting with bipartisan lawmakers on Capitol Hill over the last several days to rally support for the expansion. The Trump/GOP Tax Reform Framework released in September calls for “significantly” increasing the credit (TAXDAY, 2017/09/28, C.1 ).

By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Staff

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