House approves Senate-passed budget plan, paving way for tax reform

FILE - This April 4, 2017, file photo, shows the Capitol at dawn in Washington. On Thursday, July 13, 2017, the Treasury Department releases federal budget data for June. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WNCT) — The House on Thursday adopted the Senate-passed budget that would pave the way for tax reform legislation.

Lawmakers narrowly approved the plan in a 216-212 vote.

The chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee said his panel will release a tax bill next Wednesday.

“On November 1, we will introduce our tax reform bill that will deliver more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks to people across our country. Beginning on November 6, the Ways and Means Committee will consider this legislation in a committee markup,” Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said in a statement Thursday.

House Republicans had passed their own budget in early October, but it contains significant differences from the blueprint that Senate Republicans approved last week. In order to speed up the process, skipping negotiations in a conference committee, the House will vote on the Senate GOP’s budget.

Earlier this week, House GOP leaders said that by passing the Senate’s proposal, it will speed up the process to pass a tax code overhaul by two weeks. Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, said Tuesday that the House aims to pass a tax reform package by the week of Thanksgiving with the goal of getting the legislation out of Congress by the end of the year.

President Trump huddled with Senate Republicans on Tuesday afternoon at the Capitol for a conversation that was supposed to focus on tax reform. GOP lawmakers were reportedly considering capping pre-tax 401(k) contributions, a move President Trump on Monday vowed wouldn’t happen.

The Senate budget would direct the Senate Finance Committee to find $1.5 trillion in tax cuts over the next decade and relies on a single committee, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, to reduce the deficit by $1 billion over that period. The plan also calls for $5.1 trillion in spending cuts over the next 10 years, reducing non-defense discretionary spending by $632 billion during that time.

Administration officials and members of Congress are looking to the end of the year as the deadline to enact a tax reform package. But time is running out. The House and Senate are only slated to be in session for less than 30 legislative days through the end of the year.

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