Ryan McCrimmon

Six Things to Watch as Tax Overhaul Endgame Nears
Final votes could come just before lawmakers leave for the holidays

A number of sticking points emerged last week as Republican lawmakers began jockeying for their favorite parts of the House and Senate tax plans.

Top tax writers from each chamber will formally meet Wednesday at 2 p.m. to discuss their differences, but the real negotiations have already begun behind the scenes.

Treasury Sees Rosy Revenue Effects of GOP Tax Plans

The Treasury Department on Monday estimated the Senate Republican tax code overhaul would actually shrink annual deficits over 10 years, a sharp break from congressional revenue estimates showing the GOP tax plans could cost at least $1 trillion over a decade.

Treasury’s Office of Tax Policy released a one-page summary of its analysis of the Senate-passed legislation, which predicts the legislation would raise revenue by $300 billion over 10 years compared to current law.

Senate Agrees to Tax Bill Conference With House

The Senate voted Wednesday to officially begin conference negotiations with House members over a tax code overhaul, as Republicans race to send a finished bill to President Donald Trump’s desk before Christmas.

The 51-47 party-line vote was largely a formality. Behind-the-scenes talks have already begun since the Senate passed its version early Saturday morning, following House passage of its own bill before Thanksgiving.

Spiking Alternative Minimum Taxes a Priority for House GOP, Brady Says
‘Both of them are very costly and they add complexity’

Repealing the alternative minimum tax is a priority for House Republicans in conference negotiations with Senate tax writers, Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady said.

The Texas Republican said he spoke to many House GOP members Tuesday morning who “feel strongly” about permanently repealing the AMT for corporations and individual taxpayers. The House-passed tax bill would do so, while the Senate measure would keep the current corporate AMT and expand exemptions for the individual AMT rather than repeal it.

GOP Tax Package Enters Final Stretch With Senate Passage
After days of debate, the chamber passed the bill in the wee hours Saturday

The Senate early Saturday voted 51-49 to pass the GOP tax code overhaul, setting up the last stage of the tax debate: high-stakes talks between House and Senate Republicans to write a compromise measure they can place on President Donald Trump’s desk.

After more than 24 hours of deal-making and arm-twisting by Senate GOP leaders, a number of major policy changes were made to the tax bill in the form of a broad manager’s amendment from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., adopted by unanimous consent before the legislation was passed.

GOP Searching for New Tax Tweak After Senate Parliamentarian Guidance
Tax increase ‘trigger’ would violate Byrd rule, Perdue says

A violation of Senate budget rules sent Republicans searching for new solutions in their tax overhaul effort, Thursday night.

Sen. David Perdue said the GOP tax plan will not include any revenue “trigger” mechanism because it was found to violate Senate budget rules, but senators are instead discussing putting an automatic, future tax increase into the bill instead.

‘Pass-Through’ Changes Dog Senate GOP Tax Overhaul
Republican Ron Johson says plan not generous enough to pass-throughs

Trouble signs emerged Wednesday for the Republican tax overhaul effort, even as the Senate Finance Committee crept closer — slowly, and sometimes painfully — toward approving its bill later this week.

The top tax writers on each side forecast long hours still ahead. “Tomorrow, we are going to be here a while,” Sen. Ron Wyden, the Finance panel’s ranking member, said Wednesday.

Tension High at Senate Finance Committee Tax Markup
Timing, lack of notice are big sticking points

Day Three of the Senate Finance Committee tax markup began under a cloud of partisan discord after top Republicans dropped a new version of their tax plan late Tuesday night, making broad changes that Democrats were not consulted on in advance.

The tax writing panel on Wednesday was debating the revised GOP tax plan that would now roll back a central part of the 2010 health care law and make the most significant individual tax benefits in the plan expire after eight years.

House Panel Approves GOP Tax Measure
Chamber’s version differs markedly from Senate proposal

The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday approved the Republican tax plan after making key changes such as raising repatriation tax rates on corporate cash held abroad, restoring the adoption child credit and changing the bill’s treatment of “pass-through” businesses.

Committee members voted along party lines, 24-16, to approve the legislation setting up a likely House floor vote next week. The substantive changes Thursday came in a so-called manager’s amendment from Chairman Kevin Brady who unveiled the package less than an hour before the panel took it up, prompting an outcry from Democrats.

Partisan Bickering Defines Day One of House Tax Markup
California Democrat Mike Thompson calls a bill provision “cruel” and “heartless”

Updated 9:25 p.m. | Fireworks started early at the House Ways and Means Committee markup Monday of the Republican tax plan, as Democrats repeatedly criticized the GOP’s effort to overhaul the tax code as a boon to the rich that would hurt many middle-class families.

Tensions rose about six hours into Day One of the marathon markup when Chairman Kevin Brady offered an amendment to his previous substitute that would make several changes to the bill. Democrats let loose on the Texas Republican for unveiling the substitute and taking it up immediately, without allowing any extra time to examine the provisions.

Ways and Means Panel Begins Marathon Markup of Tax Bill
House committee will set stage for floor consideration of legislation

House tax writers on Monday start slogging through the Republican tax plan, but an expected melee of political messaging is likely to eclipse any major policy changes during the marathon markup.

The Ways and Means Committee will meet at noon Monday to begin marking up the tax bill and is aiming to finish on Thursday, according to Chairman Kevin Brady. The Texas Republican promised much of the debate will take place during the regular workday, but long hours and some late nights are expected.

New Jersey’s MacArthur Happy With SALT Compromise
After calculations for NJ-03, congressman okays $10,000 cap

Rep. Tom MacArthur said Friday he’s “thrilled” with the compromise on deductions for state and local property taxes included in the House GOP tax plan.

The New Jersey Republican said he conducted his own analysis late Thursday and found that all but 3,000 of the 151,000 people in his district that benefited from the deduction last year would fit under the $10,000 cap, and most of those 3,000 taxpayers were subject to the alternative minimum tax anyway.

Congress Begins Digesting Tax Bill Outlines
Republicans say they need more detail

House Republicans leaving a closed-door conference meeting said they needed to see more details of the tax code overhaul before assessing the plan.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said “not enough detail” was provided. “Most of what was talked about in there was still at the 15,000-to-20,000 foot level.”

Six Things to Watch in the House GOP Tax Bill
House Republicans expected to unveil legislation Wednesday

House Republicans will unveil details of their long-awaited tax bill Wednesday, opening the floodgates for lawmakers and outside groups to begin scrutinizing every last provision.

While some broad strokes have been revealed, most of the finer points have been kept quiet by GOP tax writers and leaders. Here are six items to watch when the curtain is raised Wednesday:

GOP Tax Bill to Include Property Tax Deduction, Brady Says
But will it be enough to satisfy House Republican holdouts?

The House Republican tax plan will not end deductions for state and local property taxes, Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady said in a statement this weekend.

“At the urging of lawmakers, we are restoring an itemized property tax deduction to help taxpayers with local tax burdens,” the Texas Republican said.

Tax ‘Whisperer’ Kautter Named Interim IRS Chief
Senior Treasury official will replace the beleaguered John Koskinen

President Donald Trump on Thursday tapped David Kautter, a senior tax official at the Treasury Department, to become acting IRS commissioner, starting Nov. 13.

Kautter will temporarily take over the top job at a critical time for the agency, as Republicans work on a major tax code overhaul and an IRS audit of the president’s own taxes continues. He will succeed Commissioner John Koskinen, the embattled IRS chief whose term ends Nov. 12.

In GOP Retirements, Some See an Omen
As the Ways and Means exodus continues, observers wonder what it means for tax overhaul

The departure of key Ways and Means Republicans could be a sign of diminished optimism for major legislative achievements, but some GOP observers say it may actually signal confidence about getting a landmark tax bill signed into law.

Six Republicans on the powerful committee with broad sway over taxes, health care and trade are running for higher office or planning to retire at the end of this term while the GOP is at the height of its power in Washington.

Congressional Funding an Issue for the 2020 Census
GAO includes it on ‘high-risk list’ of programs facing peril

The United States Census Bureau is facing a host of challenges with 2020 on the horizon, from budget shortfalls and cost overruns to a shakeup atop the agency — the sudden resignation of Director John H. Thompson in June. There’s apprehension among some groups that President Donald Trump’s hard-line stance on immigration could depress participation, though questions are not asked about immigration status.

It all adds up to one central fear: a census that falls short of an accurate count of the population. The data from that decennial survey is used to map congressional districts, inform policymaking and steer billions of dollars in government resources where they’re needed.

Harvey Aid, Seen Topping Katrina and Sandy, May Be in Batches
Early projections estimate $150 billion

The rebuilding of parts of Texas and potentially Louisiana after Hurricane Harvey may be the most expensive disaster relief effort ever, with early projections of federal aid soaring to $150 billion and raising the prospect of several congressional actions to pay for it.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, said Wednesday he thinks federal aid in the wake of Hurricane Harvey should top what was provided after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005 and Superstorm Sandy struck the Northeast in 2012. 

CBO Would Disclose Research Models, Data Under Lee Measure
Utah Republican latest to target Congress’ budget scorekeeper

The hits keep coming for the Congressional Budget Office, as Republicans in Congress continue to lash out against the nonpartisan scorekeeper following its unflattering analysis of recent GOP health care proposals.

Republican lawmakers and White House officials in recent months have accused the CBO of partisan bias; called for slashing its budget; singled out individual employees; and suggested the agency is now obsolete.