House Advances Budget Resolution, in First Step Toward Major Tax Bill
By Richard Rubin and Siobhan Hughes
WASHINGTON -- The House of Representatives passed a 2018 budget resolution on Thursday, a first step down the path toward a major tax bill.
The chamber voted 219-206 to adopt its version of the budget. All Democrats and 18 Republicans voted against it. The Senate Budget Committee is heading toward a vote on its alternative later on Thursday.
"This is the most conservative budget in 20 years," said Rep. Diane Black (R., Tenn.), who chairs the House Budget Committee. "The vision in there, if we were to follow it, really could change the trajectory of this country."
The budget is particularly important this year because it is the prerequisite to using reconciliation for a major tax bill. That fast-track procedure will enable the Senate to pass a subsequent tax bill on a simple-majority vote rather than needing 60 votes, which would require at least some Democrats voting for the bill.
The House and Senate will have to work out some differences, and that could take negotiations into November because the two chambers' schedules in Washington don't align, Mrs. Black said.
The House budget calls for a revenue-neutral tax bill, after assuming that the tax plan will generate economic growth. The House plan also calls for attaching $203 billion in miscellaneous spending cuts over a decade.
The Senate plan lacks those attachments, except for a plank that could allow for a fast-track vote on Arctic oil drilling. Under the Senate plan, Republicans could cut taxes by $1.5 trillion over a decade, and that figure doesn't assume any economic growth.
The Senate framework seems likely to prevail, because of the chamber's parliamentary rules and Republicans' narrow margins there, though Ms. Black said House members will fight for their vision.