All eyes will be on the Senate after the Thanksgiving break as the lawmakers will vote on—and likely pass—the Senate Finance Committee’s tax reform bill. The task “is prodigious and the timeline is fast,” says political watcher Andy Friedman in his latest white paper, released Nov. 20.
When Congress last reformed the tax code, “the legislative process took over two years. Now Congress is attempting the same feat in a little over one month,” Friedman of The Washington Update said.
As it stands now, the House has passed its version of the tax reform bill, with a Senate vote expected the week of Nov. 27.
Next steps? “Assuming Senate passage, a ‘conference committee’ comprised of leaders from the two bodies will iron out the many differences between the bills. The single bill that comes out of that committee will go back to the House and Senate again for passage,” then the final version will go to President Donald Trump for his signature.
Friedman said he expects that Congress “will in fact pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, although there might be changes to the bills as currently constituted to garner sufficient votes in the Senate,” with a final bill seeing passage by year-end. However, Friedman adds, it is possible the process will carry over into next year.
“Either way, the legislation’s effective date likely will be Jan. 1, 2018.”
Freidman, a former tax attorney, offers the following is a chart (in billions) showing how much each of the major provisions of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act increases or decreases federal revenue.