Congress Paves Way For Tax Legislation By Passing Budget Resolution
Congress has approved a joint budget resolution, a critical step to paving the way for major tax legislation later this year.
The Senate-approved resolution passed the House narrowly on Tuesday, 216-212, with 20 Republicans voting no and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., even having to cast a rare vote to help ensure its passage.
The budget does not have the force of law and does not need President Trump's signature. But it does formally authorizes a process that will allow Republicans to write a tax bill that only needs 50 votes to pass the Senate, circumventing the threat of a filibuster from Democrats.
Republicans plan to release their tax bill next Wednesday, with a stated goal to pass it by the end of the year. But this close vote and defections from GOP members shows just how difficult that process will be.
"By passing this budget today, House Republicans just provided the legislative runway for pro-growth tax reform," House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said after the vote. "Our successful vote will allow us to move forward quickly on delivering the first overhaul of America's tax code in more than three decades."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., added, "This is a comprehensive, fiscally-responsible budget that will help put the federal government on a path to balance. It went through committee and includes provisions from both chambers. It reins in government spending. It protects Social Security. It complies fully with previous spending caps, while also providing for an increase for defense resources if a bipartisan agreement is be reached."