What Republicans need to do next to pass tax reform:
- The Senate must pass a 2018 fiscal year budget plan, which would allow for tax changes to be enacted with a simple majority. Votes are expected next week. The House passed a $4.1-trillion budget plan last week.
- The House and Senate must then agree on a final version of the budget plan and adopt it.
- A tax bill would be introduced in the House Ways and Means Committee, in consultation with the Senate Finance Committee, likely in November.
- The House hopes to vote on the tax bill before Thanksgiving.
- The Senate then would aim to vote on the bill before Christmas.
These key issues still must be decided:
- State and local taxes — Republicans wanted to eliminate the deduction, but opposition means they’ll probably have to keep it in some form.
- Tax brackets — Income levels for individual tax rates still must be set, with the possibility of a fourth bracket for higher incomes.
- Deductions and loopholes — Republicans say they will eliminate most of them, but lobbyists will fight once specific changes are made public.
-- By Lisa Mascaro and Jim Puzzenghera