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Differences Between Senate and House Tax Reform Bills

Most taxpayers know by now, as reported by Fox News on Saturday, "The U.S. Senate voted just before 2 a.m. ET Saturday to pass a sweeping tax overhaul worth roughly $1.4 trillion, putting the Trump White House a big step closer to its first major legislative victory – and many Americans closer to a tax cut . . .The vote was 51-49, with Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee the only member of the GOP to side with the Democrats in opposition."

And, here, the accounting firm, KPMG,  identifies today the House conferees, In addition, KPMG links to a Congressional Research Report (CRS) for "Senate Rules Restricting the Content of Conference Reports."

So, what are some of the differences between the House and Senate versions of tax reform legislation?  On Saturday, the Tax Foundation's Jared Walczak provided an analysis of "Important Differences Between the House and Senate Tax Reform Bills Heading into Conference," at their Tax Policy Blog. His introduction:

"After the Senate’s vote on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in the early hours of Saturday morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told reporters that while he was not predicting that the conference committee with the House would be “a piece of cake,” he was confident that the chambers could reconcile their differences. He cited efforts to “pre-conference” the bill by adopting key House priorities. For instance: “We’ve moved our initial thinking on this in the direction of the House bill, for example the property tax deduction, in order to get the bills closer together than they were.”

"That will be important. When the chambers pass different versions of a bill, conferees are appointed by both the House and the Senate to produce a “conference report” that is satisfactory to the majority of conferees from each chamber. (More on this later, after the table.) The closer the two sides are going into conference, the easier the resulting process.

"The good news for proponents of the bill is that McConnell is right: the Senate bill moved in the House’s direction on several important issues, and was already identical on key points. Both move to chained CPI. Both retain the state and local tax property tax deduction, capped at $10,000. After a floor amendment adopted last night in the Senate, both expand 529 college savings accounts to apply to some primary and secondary education expenses. Both feature a 20 percent corporate rate. That does not mean, however, that the two versions are identical."

He then provides a helpful side-by-side comparison of various provisions of the House and Senate versions of the bill, staring with the individual income tax rates and brackets. For example, the House version has four brackets while the Senate version has seven  brackets.

Meanwhile, our friends at the National Taxpayers Union issued a press release on Saturday applauding Senate passage of the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act," saying that while not perfect." bill, "it is a phenomenal improver over the status quo."

The WSJ's Washington Wire explains today "How Senate Republicans Passed the Tax Bill (behind the WSJ's paywall, however).

Growls readers concerned about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are encouraged to engage their members of Congress. Contact information is available at the Library of Congress' Congress.gov. Taxpayers living in Virginia's Arlington County can contact:

  • Senator Mark Warner (D) -- write to him or call (202) 224-2023
  • Senator Tim Kaine (D) -- write to him or call (202) 224-4024
  • Representative Don Beyer (D) -- write to him or call (202) 225-4376

Be sure to ask for a written response. And tell them ACTA sent you.

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