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House makes final tweaks to tax bill before committee vote

 (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)
(J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

As they await the unveiling of the Senate GOP tax plan Thursday, Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee were scrambling to revise their own bill after changes made this week pushed its cost over the limit needed to pass it through the Senate on a simple majority vote. 

The committee was expected to approve the House bill later Thursday on a party line vote after making additional changes.

An amendment approved Monday and offered by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), the panel’s chairman, gutted a complicated excise tax for foreign transactions of multinational companies that was in the original bill. 

The excise tax, designed to stop multinational companies from using transactions with foreign affiliates to reduce their U.S. taxes, would have generated $155 billion over the next decade. After pushback from businesses, Brady made technical changes to the proposal that cut that revenue by $148 billion.

Brady’s amendment, passed on a party line vote, pushed the cost of the bill to $1.574 trillion over 10 years — $74 billion over what’s allowed to pass the bill through the Senate on a simple majority vote.

Brady’s change didn’t satisfy one of the leading opponents of the excise provision, Freedom Partners, which is funded by the Koch brothers and its network of donors. The group pushed for the Senate tax bill to exclude the excise tax entirely.

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