Republicans Unveil Lame-Duck Tax Bill

Republicans Unveil Lame-Duck Tax Bill


House Republicans unexpectedly introduced a nearly 300-page tax bill Monday evening, with the goal of passing the legislation during the lame-duck session of Congress. Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady (R-TX), who will step down in January as Democrats take the reins, said he hoped the bill would be voted on quickly and sent to the Senate.

The bill (click here for the full text) contains provision that would:

  • correct technical errors in the 2017 tax law
  • provide tax relief for disaster victims
  • phase out take breaks for biodiesel and renewable diesel
  • extend a longer list of other tax breaks, including those related to renewable energy, railroad maintenance, economic development in American Samoa, “motorsports entertainment complexes” and some racehorses
  • tweak the rules for IRA and 401(k) retirement accounts
  • restructure some parts of the IRS.

One thing the bill does not do is extend the 2017 bill’s individual tax cuts, which are scheduled to expire in 2026. And Brady did not provide an estimate of how much the bill would cost.

What comes next: A Republican aide told The Hill that the bill could receive a vote on the House floor within the next few days, but even if Republicans have enough votes to pass the bill there they will need support from Democrats to get it through the Senate. The reaction from one Democrat, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (MD), suggests the bill is in for a rough ride: “It was sort of put together in the same way their huge tax bill was put together, in the dark of night.” House Democrats are expected to hold hearings on the 2017 tax bill and any potential adjustments next year, and Senate Democrats may prefer to wait to see where their efforts lead before passing any further tax legislation.