On November 2, House Republicans released their tax reform bill titled, “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” Michael Best Strategies’ (MBS) tax policy experts, Denise Bode and Anne Canfield continue to provide constant updates to their tax analysis charts in this tax reform update. This past week, on November 16, the House of Representatives passed "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" (H.R. 1) as approved by Ways and Means Committee by a vote of 227 to 205. On November 16, the Senate Finance Committee passed their version of the “Tax Cut and New Jobs” act by a vote of 14-12.
Next week, the Senate Budget Committee will review the Senate Finance Committee passed bill to ensure that it complies with the requirements set forth in the FY2018 Budget Resolution. The week of November 27, the full Senate will consider the Senate Finance Committee passed bill on the Senate floor.
There are two possible pathways once the bill is on the Senate Floor: (1) The Senate passes a bill, with any amendments that may be added by the full Senate. The conferees are appointed for a House-Senate Conference Committee to resolve any differences between the two bills. Once the Conference Report is put together by the House-Senate Conference Committee, the Conference Report will then go back to the full Senate and U.S. House of Representatives for an up-down vote on the Conference Report, which is not amendable. (2) The second and, potentially, more likely pathway is that the House and Senate pre-conference the bill. Any changes that the House wants to make to the bill would be included by the full Senate during its consideration of the Senate Finance Committee-passed bill. The final tax reform bill would then be passed by the full Senate and then passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, thus avoiding a second vote in the Senate, which might be critical to the ultimate success of getting a final tax reform bill enacted.