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House Panel Passes Tax Plan as Senate Readies Tax Bill Release

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The House Ways and Means Committee passed Thursday afternoon the GOP tax bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, just as the Senate was about to unveil its tax plan.

“This legislation will reduce tax rates for Americans of all income levels so hardworking families can keep more of what they earn – that includes middle-income families in every Ways and Means Member’s district,” said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, in a statment after the vote.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said in another statement that “Today, we took yet another critical step toward delivering real relief to the American people. I want to thank Chairman Brady and the Ways and Means Committee for making important improvements to this historic legislation.”

The committee, Ryan said, “preserved the adoption tax credit for middle-income families, and increased targeted relief for Main Street small businesses and startups.”

The bill, he continued, “will cut taxes for a typical household by $1,182, raise take-home pay by upwards of $4,000, and create nearly 1 million full-time jobs. It is exactly the type of tax cut and job growth our country needs to get back on track.”

“Robust debate” will now ensue on the House floor.

Ryan said earlier in the day during his daily press conference that “We are going to conference” with the tax bills. “The House will pass its bill and the Senate will pass its bill and then we will get together in conference.”

Brady added that the House looks forward to working with the Senate “to deliver a unified bill to President Trump this year.”

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, offered on Thursday his second amendment to the House GOP bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

His amendment refines several provisions in the bill, and includes a provision to allow those with disabled children to roll over excess assets from a tax-advantaged 529 savings account into an ABLE account. 

Also, Brady says the bill now includes “a new, low tax rate for businesses earning less than $75,000 in income.”

The Save Our Savings Coalition said in statement that “We remain extremely pleased that the House legislation continues to protect retirement savings, allowing millions of middle-class families to continue to have the freedom to choose the savings vehicle that best suits their needs.”

The Coalition said that it applauds Brady and his Committee colleagues “for preserving our retirement system, and as the tax debate advances, the Coalition looks forward to continued work with the House, Senate and administration to safeguard families, consumers, retirees and their savings.”

The Senate tax plan, to be released Thursday afternoon, also continues retirement savings programs such as 401(k)s and IRAs, according to a document providing highlights of the bill. Further details on the treatment of retirement savings were not given.

The Senate plan would also repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax and retain the estate tax (with higher thresholds) as well as the mortgage deduction up to $1 million (unlike the $500,000 cap in the House bill).

The legislation also permanently lowers the corporate tax rate to 20%, and lowers the 39.6% top-earner tax bracket to 38.5%.

Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., slammed the Senate bill, stating that “Senate Republicans are doubling down on their gamble with middle-class family budgets to pay for massive handouts to big corporations and tax cheats.” 

The best example, he continued, ”is their elimination of the state and local deduction. In Oregon, Wisconsin, Georgia, the Carolinas and communities where the American dream has sparked economic growth and lifted families into the middle class, the Senate Republican plan will cause a lot of harm.”


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