Speaker Ryan

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

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady says both Senate and House tax plans have “strengths” when it comes to the treatment of income of pass-through entities. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

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

Borrowing some nomenclature from the White House, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., dubbed the Treasury report "fake math." (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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.

Budget Deal Could Bust Caps by $200 Billion
Two-year agreement expected to draw motley crew of supporters

Marc Short, left, White House director of legislative affairs, and Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse at the Capitol on Dec. 1. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Congressional negotiators have moved well north of $200 billion in their discussions of how much to raise discretionary spending caps in a two-year budget deal.

The higher numbers under consideration follow an initial Republican offer several weeks ago to raise defense by $54 billion and nondefense by $37 billion in both fiscal 2018 and 2019 — a $182 billion increase in base discretionary spending.

Businesses Say Foreign Payment Treatment May Breach Treaties
Provisions in House and Senate tax bills draw pushback

Ohio Rep. James B. Renacci says issues with the provisions in question must be resolved in conference negotiations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Business advocates are warning that provisions in the House and Senate tax bills aimed at discouraging offshore migration of multinational operations could trigger trade disputes and retaliation by trading partners because they conflict with tax treaties.

The Semiconductor Industry Association, representing big chipmakers such as Intel Corp., Texas Instruments Inc. and Qualcomm Inc., told Republican leaders in a Dec. 5 letter that it has trade-related concerns about two House and Senate proposals that target multinationals’ payments to foreign affiliates, including payments for parts and other goods used in manufacturing, royalties, interest and management fees.

Arizona Rep. Trent Franks Now Resigning Immediately
The congressman cited his wife's hospitalization

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., takes his seat as he arrives for the House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 4:30 p.m. After announcing Thursday that he would resign from Congress as of January 2018, Arizona Rep. Trent Franks announced on Friday he’s resigning immediately, citing a family illness. 

“Last night, my wife was admitted to the hospital in Washington, D.C. due to an ongoing ailment. After discussing options with my family, we came to the conclusion that the best thing for our family now would be for me to tender my previous resignation effective today, December 8th, 2017,” Franks said in Friday afternoon statement. 

Photos of the Week: Three Resignations, a CR Extension and the Holidays Kick Off
The week of Dec. 4 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Ranking member Rep. Jerrold Nadler arrives Thursday for the House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the FBI. Nadler became the top Democrat on the panel following Michigan Rep. John Conyers Jr.’s resignation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated at 10:08 a.m.The week on the Hill was not short on news. Michigan Rep. John Conyers Jr. resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct while Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, a fellow Democrat, announced he intended to do the same soon. Late Thursday, Republican Trent Franks from Arizona said he would resign effective Jan. 31 over sexual harassment allegations in his office.

At the same time, the funding deadline to keep the government open loomed. But a government shutdown was averted Thursday — at least for another two weeks — when both chambers passed a continuing resolution through Dec. 22. 

No Deal For Trump With ‘Chuck and Nancy’ This Time
‘We agreed to keep on talking,’ McConnell says

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., did not reach a deal with President Donald Trump and congressional leaders Thursday.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

“Chuck and Nancy” finally went to the White House on Thursday. But there was no script-flipping deal to be had with President Donald Trump this time.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., signaled the sides are still too far apart to close a deal, saying at the start of the meeting he was “glad we’re here to resume conversations.”

Arizona’s Trent Franks to Resign Jan. 31
GOP lawmaker said to have made female staffers uncomfortable with talk of surrogacy

Arizona Rep. Trent Franks was first elected in 2002. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 7:24 pm | Arizona Republican Trent Franks said Thursday he is resigning from Congress effective Jan. 31 amid an Ethics Committee investigation into discussions he had with two female staffers about surrogacy. 

In a lengthy statement Thursday evening, Franks said he and his wife struggled with fertility.

House Conservatives Mixed Emotions Over White House Confab
Hints but no guarantees from leadership spark split feelings

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Leaders of the two conservative House caucuses are both hopeful and worried about what’s happening Thursday afternoon at the White House.

They hope Speaker Paul D. Ryan is advocating for a Republican-crafted spending strategy during a meeting with President Donald Trump and other congressional leaders. But they worry that negotiations over topline spending numbers could undermine their position.

Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi Agree on These Things
White House-Hill leadership meeting yields head nods

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., conduct a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump nodded as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi listed issues on which she said the duo agree and she wants to see in a long-term spending measure.

That list included the children’s health program, combating the opioid crisis, and veterans funding. She referred to those as “things that have bipartisan support in the Congress.”