December 21—2017 Tax Reform: 2017 Tax Reform: Congress passes tax reform bill.
On December 20, the House approved H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” the sweeping tax reform measure, by a vote of 224 to 201. The Senate had passed the measure, as revised to address some procedural complications, by a 51-48 margin the night before, and the bill will soon make its way to President Trump for his expected signature.
The House had initially passed the bill on December 19, and it had been expected that the Senate would quickly take up and approve the measure. However, a number of procedural rules forced the Senate to remove a number of provisions from the House-passed bill, including a provision allowing Section 529 account funds to be used for homeschool expenses, and a provision that excepted certain schools from a new excise tax on the basis of what proportion of its students were “tuition-paying.” The provision designating the short title of the bill was also found to have violated one of the Senate Parliamentarian rules, so, while the bill is commonly known as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” it has formally been re-designated as “An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018.” These changes meant that the measure required a second House vote.
The bill will soon be sent to President Trump for his expected signature. However, it’s unclear how soon he will be signing the bill. According to White House economic advisor Gary Cohn, under the sequestration rules, the president’s signature before year-end could trigger automatic spending cuts. If this “trigger” can be waived, the president is expected to sign the bill into law before the end of the year.
For more information on the details of the 2017 Tax Reform, please contact our office.