The House passed a budget resolution on Thursday that served as the first step toward Republicans passing a massive tax reform plan.
The resolution, which passed by a vote of 219 to 206, included in it instructions for what is known as budget reconciliation. Reconciliation allows a bill to pass the Senate without being subject to a filibuster, a crucial hurdle for the GOP to move eventual tax legislation.
The $US4.1 trillion budget will likely be heavily edited before it is officially signed into law by President Donald Trump.
The Senate Budget Committee is expected to roll out their own budget resolution in the coming days, which would then need approval by the entire chamber. From there, the House would either need to pass the Senate version of the budget without any changes or go to a conference committee to work out the differences.
The passage Thursday represented the first legislative step for Republicans to enact their vision for tax reform. The proposed plan from Trump and GOP leaders aims to lower the corporate tax rate and overhaul individual rates.
Republicans and conservative groups applauded the House passage, celebrating the concrete move towards tax cuts. The White House issued an enthusiastic statement on the resolution making it through the chamber.
“This resolution is a key step towards Making America Great Again by supporting the Administration’s legislative agenda, as it, among other things, drives economic growth and job creation, creates a pathway to fix our rigged and burdensome tax code and establishes a framework for rebuilding our military and securing the border,” said the statement. “President Trump looks forward to working with both chambers of Congress to enact a budget as soon as possible.”
Eighteen Republicans voted against the measures for a variety of reasons. The two major factions appeared to be conservatives favouring deeper cuts to spending than in the resolution passed and members from Democratic states that oppose the tax plan’s repeal of the state and local tax deduction.
There are a number of hoops for Republican lawmakers to get through to pass the tax reform package — not the least of which is actually writing the tax bill.
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