Senate Appoints Conferees

The Republican leadership in the Senate appointed the GOP members of the Conference Committee Wednesday afternoon after the Senate voted to proceed to conference with the House to work out the differences between the House and Senate tax bills.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) will lead the GOP delegation, joined members John Cornyn (R-TX) (also the Senate Majority Whip), Mike Enzi (R-WY) (also the Budget Committee Chairman), John Thune (R-SD), Rob Portman (R-OH) (also on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) (also on the Budget Committee) as well as Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-AL) and member Tim Scott (R-SC).
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Comparison of the Final House and Senate Bills

While the last-minute changes made to the Senate Bill brought the House and Senate Bills closer together, a number of important differences remain.  The House and Senate will attempt to hammer out these differences over the next few weeks in conference committee. In the meantime, we have prepared a comparison of the more salient provisions of the two bills.

You can view the full text of the bills on our House Bill Navigator and Senate Bill Navigator. We also ran a comparison of the final Senate Bill against the initial legislative text, which is available here.
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Where We Stand on Executive Compensation Under the Final House and Senate Bills

In the early morning hours of December 2nd, the Senate passed its own version of the tax reform bill.  The compensation provisions in the final Senate Bill are very similar to those in the final House Bill, with only a few exceptions.

Outside of the provisions directly impacting compensation, described below, the Senate Bill differs from the House Bill in two key ways, which could have a significant effect on compensation program decisions depending on how they are ultimately reconciled.

  • First, the Senate Bill reduces the corporate tax rate effective January 1, 2019, as opposed to January 1, 2018 in the House Bill.

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House Appoints Conferees

After a surprisingly contentious debate (that had much more to do with the upcoming spending negotiations than the tax reform bill), the House voted to proceed to Conference Committee to resolve differences between the House and Senate Bills.

The House named 9 Republican members to the Conference Committee, who will be joined by 5 Democratic members.

Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) will chair the House’s delegation, joined by fellow Ways and Means members Devin Nunes (R-CA), Peter Roskam (R-IL), Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Diane Black (R-TN) (also the Chairwoman of the Budget Committee).  Energy and Commerce members Fred Upton (R-MI.)
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Updated JCT Score of Senate Bill

The Joint Committee on Taxation released an updated estimate of the revenue effects of the Senate Bill, revising earlier estimates to account for the Manager’s Amendment introduced shortly before the Senate Bill passed the Senate on December 1. The JCT found that the Senate Bill as modified by the Manager’s Amendment would reduce federal revenues by $1.447 trillion over 10 years, up slightly from the $1.414 trillion estimate produced for the Senate Bill as reported to the floor by the Senate Finance Committee. You can view the revenue effects here.
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Last Minute Retention of Corporate AMT in Senate Tax Bill has Unintended Consequences

The tax reform bill passed by the Senate early Saturday morning (the “Senate bill”) retains the corporate alternative minimum tax (“AMT”) apparently without any changes to current law.  Earlier versions of the Senate bill, consistent with the bill passed by the House, repealed the corporate AMT.  This late change to the Senate bill has a number of apparently far-reaching (and hopefully unintended) consequences for corporate taxpayers, including potentially undoing many of the benefits of the international tax reform provisions that are part of the bill.

Background on AMT.  Under section 55, a corporation’s federal income tax for the year is increased to the extent that its “tentative minimum tax” (“TMT”) for the year exceeds its “regular tax” for the year. 
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Senate Passes Tax Bill

After a late night flurry of re-drafting, the Senate voted 51-49 to pass its tax reform bill, with the support of all Republican Senators other than Senator Bob Corker (R-TN).

The Senate Bill as reported to the floor was replaced by a Manager’s Amendment shortly before the final vote occurred. You can view the text of the Manager’s Amendment (with hand-written adjustments here). The final bill text has not been released yet, but we will update the blog when it is. Stay tuned early next week for an updated comparison grid between the House and Senate bills as well.

From here, the Senate and House bills head to conference committee to resolve the differences between the two bills.
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JCT Releases Dynamic Score of Senate Bill

The Joint Committee on Taxation (“JCT”) released their dynamic score of the Senate Bill as reported by the Senate Finance Committee this afternoon. You can read the release here.

The JCT estimates that the Senate Bill would increase the level of GDP relative to the baseline forecast by 0.8 percent on average throughout the ten-year budget window.   This forecasted increase in GDP reduced the JCT’s estimates of the revenue lost by the Senate Bill over the 10-year budget window by $458 billion over the JCT’s static score, resulting in an estimated revenue loss of $956 billion over the budget window.
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