The House is set to leave for its August recess without having taken the first essential step to overhauling the U.S. tax code: agreeing on a 2018 budget resolution.
Disputes among House Republicans over spending levels and the controversial border-adjusted tax proposal are preventing Speaker Paul Ryan from winning enough support to schedule a floor vote on the budget that a House panel approved last week. With House members planning to leave Washington Friday for a five-week recess, the lack of a budget is raising doubts that a tax rewrite — one of President Donald Trump’s top priorities — can get done this year, or even before the 2018 elections.
“Clearly, no budget, no tax reform,” said the House’s chief tax writer, Rep. Kevin Brady, a Texas Republican.
While Ryan has abandoned his original dream of completing by August a tax overhaul that would slash individual and corporate rates, the speaker had until recently hoped to have an agreed-upon budget by now.
The budget is a key part of the process known as reconciliation, which Republicans want to use to enact a tax code revamp without Democratic support. The House and Senate previously approved a detail-free 2017 budget resolution that they intended to use to repeal the 2010 health-care law with only Republican votes.
Senate Republicans, who’ve been focused on that repeal effort for months, have said they’ll wait to see what the House does with the 2018 budget resolution.
“The budget resolution is absolutely critical for tax reform. I don’t think there’s a workaround,” said Jonathan Traub, a tax specialist at Deloitte Tax LLP and former staff…
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