Although a top priority for the 115th Congress, Republican plans to overhaul the tax code will likely not come together immediately in the early weeks, and perhaps months, of 2017.
The House Ways and Means Committee, which has reportedly begun drafting legislation, are continuing to seek better stakeholder cooperation and making attempts to secure broader member support, a process that may take time in the best of circumstances. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) has not yet decided when to release bill text. A two-day committee meeting in December 2016 helped resolve some issues, but others “needed a bit more thought,” Brady said.
The Senate is expected to approach the issue more slowly, even if the House is able to push through a reform package as early as late spring, due in part to the desire to begin the process of repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) early in the year, as well as the process of confirming President-elect Trump’s cabinet nominees.
There is also the issue of more firmly aligning Congressional Republican tax reform aims with those of the incoming Trump administration. While Ways and Means Committee Chairman Brady (R-TX) has noted that a vast majority of the respective proposals are in tune, there remain some question marks. “We really haven’t worked through the nitty gritty on everything, but I’m confident we will,” Brady said.
Much of the timing of the tax reform legislative process hinges on plans to move forward with ACA repeal, which may be finalized as soon as February.
Source: BNA Daily Tax Report (Subscription required)
Jamie Tucker is the director, public policy strategy and operations at Independent Sector.