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US Tax Reform Bills Advanced By Senate Committee, House

by Glen Shapiro,, New York

17 November 2017

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate Finance Committee passed their respective US tax reform bills on November 16.

On November 16 the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was approved by the House of Representatives by 227 votes to 205, despite opposition from all House Democrats and 13 House Republicans.

Also on November 16, the Senate Finance Committee passed its own version of the bill following a week's mark-up. The bill passed by 14 to 12, with all committee members voting along partisan lines.

The Senate proposal will now move to a vote in the full chamber, where Republicans have a much slimmer majority than in the House. With 52 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and two independents, the party cannot afford similar Republican dissent.

Providing the Senate bill is approved, lawmakers from both houses would then work to arrive at a consolidated bill. Republicans hope to have this unified framework tabled before the President by Christmas.

"This is a historic moment for the American people," said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) following the passage of the House bill. "This vote is a big step forward – but it is not the last step. We will continue to strengthen this legislation and, working with the Senate, we will put tax reform on the President's desk by the end of the year."

"This is a historic moment and one we should all be proud of," said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) after the bill advanced through committee stage. "While we've cleared a major hurdle tonight, there is still much work to be done and I look forward to working with my colleagues to get this across the finish line."

The passage of the bill through the House was welcomed by representatives from the US business community. "Today, the House took a big step toward tax cuts that will help America's small businesses grow and create jobs," said the National Federation of Independent Business in a statement.

Business Roundtable, the CEO association, said: "We thank members of the House of Representatives for taking a historic step toward making America's tax code an advantage, not an obstacle, for American workers, families and businesses of all sizes. The Business Roundtable is committed to working with the US Senate to advance pro-growth, pro-worker tax reform for the American people."

The US Chamber of Commerce said November 16: "Today the House voted on the first major tax reform legislation in 31 years, and the majority voted in favor of growth. Stronger, faster, sustainable economic growth will create jobs, lift incomes, and help middle class families. The House tax plan advanced today will boost our economy – to everyone's benefit – and we applaud lawmakers for prioritizing growth. This legislation levels the playing field for American job creators, lowers tax rates for businesses of all sizes, and encourages investment within our borders."

"We've got this one shot to do this and do it right, so let's keep working on it. We urge the Senate to continue moving toward the goal of putting America back on a path to long-term prosperity."

TAGS: Finance | tax | small business | business | law | legislation | United States | tax reform | Tax

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