Editor’s note: This version of the article has been updated with news of House passage of H.R. 1, the House version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act bill, and the Senate Finance Committee’s move to approve the Senate version of the bill..
The full House has just approved its version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, H.R. 1, as members of the Senate Finance Committee were preparing to complete and approve their version of the bill.
Members of the House voted 227-207 to pass H.R. 1 at 1:48 p.m. All of the 192 Democrats who participated voted against the bill, and 13 of the 240 Republicans who participated voted against it.
The Senate Finance Committee began considering the Senate version of the tax bill Monday and began voting on proposed amendments to the bill Wednesday. The committee wrapped up work on the bill after 10 p.m. Thursday.
The committee ended up voting to approving packages of changes approved by Republican leaders, and the bill itself, with a series of straight party-line votes.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the committee considered, and rejected, a series of amendments proposed by Democrats. Members rejected the proposed amendments on strict party-line votes.
Democrats on the committee have accused Republicans of developing the tax bill through a rushed, secretive process, and their proposed amendments appear to be designed mainly to get Republican members to go on record supporting tax bill features that the Democratic members oppose.
Republican members, for example, a proposed Democratic amendment that would have required a complete analysis of the bill to be publicly available, and they have also rejected a Democratic proposal to require a public hearing on the bill.
Republicans also have rejected proposed Democratic amendments that would try to “prevent corporations and the wealthy from benefiting from premium increases, health insurance coverage losses for Americans, and tax increases on the middle class”; “prevent loss of health care coverage for people with disabilities”; and “prevent middle class families from losing their health insurance or paying more for it.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the chairman of the committee, appeared to have warm feelings for at least one of the proposed amendments. Hatch praised a package of amendments proposed by Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., has a constructive proposal.
One of the amendments would save the federal historic preservation tax credit, along with a community development tax credit and a low-income housing tax credit. Hatch said he would work with Cardin to get the proposals more consideration later, but that he opposed trying to put those proposals in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act bill.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., a former insurance agent who was a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, also praised the Cardin amendment, although he, like Hatch, and all other Republicans on the committee, voted against the amendment.