Quick Hit – December 22, 2017

by Gene Moran in Quick Hits

As important legislation comes to fruition right before the end of the year, here are our latest updates on the tax reform bill and the third continuing resolution before we take a break for the holidays:

Taxes

The GOP tax bill passed the House yesterday afternoon with a vote of 224-201, after a procedural issue with the Senate parliamentarian rules forced them to vote a second time.  There was unanimous Democrat opposition, as well as 12 GOP members who also denied the bill. The bill passed through the Senate earlier that day, with a vote of 51-48.  The President signed the bill into law earlier today during an informal ceremony in the Oval Office , marking the first major legislative victory for Republicans during this administration.

Highlights from the bill include a decline in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Republicans predict that the bill will increase hiring and lead to higher wages, as well as incentivize corporations to come back to the US and produce domestically. The total amount in tax cuts in 2018 as a result of the bill is projected to be $135 billion. The bill will also reduce estate taxes and eliminate part of the Affordable Care Act, which could signal an important milestone for the GOP looking to dismantle Obamacare.

Funding

With one day to spare, Congress managed to pass a third Continuing Resolution before the 22 December expiration that funds the government through 19 January.  While the CR averted a shutdown, the discussion of agreed topline funding levels for FY18 remains unresolved.

When Congress returns from the Holiday recess, it is likely that a two-year agreement on topline appropriations for both fiscal years 18 and 19 will dominate the headlines.  As has been the case in recent years, the matter of defense vs. non-defense spending levels will be the crux of the debate.

Of note, an $81B disaster relief package was not included in this funding extension.

We at Capitol Integration wish you a safe and joyous holiday!  See you in the New Year!

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