death and taxes and more taxes
House Republicans who stand opposed to the GOP tax reform bill say they haven't heard from leadership in weeks, signaling confidence by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) that the legislation will pass without difficulty in a floor vote later this week. "I think they've made the calculation that they have 218 [votes]," Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) told Politico.
Scalise and his team will officially count votes Monday night; House Republicans can lose up to 22 votes and still pass the plan. The bill includes new tax brackets and rates, but would not change the rate for married Americans making more than $1 million. Additionally, the House version of the overhaul bill would add an expected $1.457 trillion to the federal deficit over the next decade, a problem for many Republicans who oppose the bill.
The House Rules Committee will review the bill on Wednesday, although no major amendments are expected, Politico reports. A floor vote could come as early as Thursday, although Republicans are leaving open Friday as potential wiggle room, in case any problems arise.
The legislation could face more obstacles in the Senate, where the margin for passing the overhaul is even slimmer. Additionally, the House and Senate bills have a number of major differences, including that the Senate version leaves seven tax brackets, versus the House proposal's four brackets, and lowers the top rate for wealthy individuals to 38.5 percent from 39.6 percent.
"The House will pass its bill, the Senate will pass its bill, and then we will get together and reconcile the differences, which is the legislative process," Ryan reassured last week.