Congressional Republicans just got a big step closer to enacting comprehensive tax reform.
By a vote of 216-212, the House passed the Senate’s budget resolution on Thursday morning, paving the way for Republicans to begin their fast track to tax reform.
Twenty Republicans joined the entire caucus of House Democrats in voting against the resolution. Many GOP members who voted against the measure cited issues with a key provision in the tax.
However, the Republican majority in the House was large enough to sustain the number of defections, leading to a very close vote in the end.
The successful House vote is the last procedural step before congressional Republicans can move toward fast track tax reform legislation — something that is expected to be revealed next week.
Thursday’s resolution was critical for the GOP in getting tax reform through the near-impossible hurdles of Congress, Politico reported.
Following the vote, Republicans opened up procedural powers that will allow the GOP-controlled Senate to pass tax legislation with just 51 votes — avoiding any Democrat filibusters.
The vote among House Republicans was tight, and Speaker Paul Ryan and other House leaders had to conduct last-minute maneuvering to save the resolution from failure.
Numerous Republican members from high-tax states threatened to vote “no” on the budget unless GOP leaders ended plans to hamper the state and local tax deduction currently in the tax proposal.
However, Ryan was hoping enough Republicans would be excited about finally rahieving tax reform and thus vote in favor of a blueprint that many members were not happy about.
Currently, the GOP tax reform blueprint proposes the termination of the state and local tax deduction. This deduction permits Americans to reduce what they pay in local and state taxes from their federal tax bill.
Ending the SALT deduction would offset a considerable amount of the revenue lost in the planned tax cuts. According to a study by the Tax Policy Center, this save $1.3 trillion over 10 years, Business Insider reported.
Residents in high-tax states like California, Massachusetts and New York enjoy this deduction, and their representatives did not want to see it gone.
Rep. Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey, a Republican congressman from a high tax state, tweeted that he would not support the budget.
I am voting NO Ali. Make sure to share with your fellow protestors to my office this afternoon. Hi from US Capitol! Frank https://t.co/Q3RjexNJcH
— Frank LoBiondo (@RepLoBiondo) October 25, 2017
Republican leaders worried that enough Republican congressman in these states would derail the resolution.
However, every Republican congressman from California voted in favor of the resolution, as well as a handful of Republicans from New York.
According to House Way and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady, the GOP tax plan is expected to be released on Nov. 1.
Image and Content: Western Journalism