House Republicans Unite to Pass 2018 Budget --- Is Tax Reform Next?
By Alexis Alex
With a narrow vote of 216 - 212, House Republicans approved the Senate's budget resolution for the upcoming tax bill that allows for a $1.5 trillion federal deficit increase. By passing this budget, Republicans have unlocked powers that will make it easy for the Senate to pass the tax bill with just 51 senator votes (Republicans hold 52 seats) and also avoid democratic filibusters. Trump went to Twitter to celebrate the victory:
Although the budget passed, there were 20 Republican nays including 11 Republicans from New York and New Jersey who voted against the budget and are now threatening to vote against the tax bill unless plans to eliminate a key federal deduction (SALT) that people use for state and local taxes is taken out. SALT allows for tax fliers who itemize deductions to write off their property taxes, state and local income taxes or even general sale taxes and is used by nearly 1/3 of tax filers. Eliminating this deduction would bring in an estimated $1.3 trillion in tax revenue over the next 10 years which GOP tax writers are planning to use to cover the cost of the federal deficit increase in their budget. Republicans from New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and California are arguing this deduction not be removed because many of their constituents rely on this deduction when they file. Republican John Katko (NY) stated how serious New York Republicans are keeping SALT, "We stood firm staying 'no' as a group today to let them know we're not kidding," he said. It appears that some of these Republicans are adamant about standing up for their constituents and not allowing the GOP to hurt the pockets of the middle class.
The Republicans are planning to reveal their tax bill on November 1st, in hopes of passing the bill by the end of the year. Before this bill is released, GOP tax writers have a number of issues to address from the SALT deduction, changes to 401k plans, and how to decrease the budget deficit before they can release the bill. Can they make a bill that all Republicans can rally behind? We will find out on November 1.