The tax bill introduced this week by outgoing House Ways and Means Chair Kevin Brady (R-TX) faces a tough and increasingly narrow road ahead. Politico’s Brian Faler reports that several top congressional tax aides doubt the bill will get the attention it needs to move forward given the more pressing partial government shutdown that looms at the end of next week and the limited time left in the lame-duck session. A scheduled Friday vote on the bill in the House has been postponed.
The catch-all tax bill, called the “Retirement, Savings, and Other Tax Relief Act of 2018,” would extend more than two dozen tax breaks, make technical corrections to the 2017 tax bill, tweak retirement account rules and rescind a new tax on fringe benefits for non-profit employees, among other things. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, the bill would reduce revenue by about $54 billion over 10 years.
Even if the bill does get through the House, Senate Democrats are unlikely to support it without significant alterations and concessions from the GOP, assuming they’re willing to address it all. “So far,” The Wall Street Journal’s Richard Rubin writes, “Democratic senators’ reactions to the House proposal have ranged from wary to hostile.” Given the need to address funding bills and the farm bill in the few remaining legislative days left this year, Congress could “leave for the year without addressing taxes at all,” Rubin says.