On November 28, the Senate Budget Committee, voting 12 to 11, advanced the Senate Republicans’ version of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” setting the scene for a floor vote. The vote to take up the Senate tax reform bill could occur as early as tomorrow, which would start 20 hours of debate and the amendment process. Final vote on passage could occur as soon as Thursday evening or Friday.
It has also been reported that, in exchange for the elimination of the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) in the Senate tax reform bill, President Trump has agreed to accept the “Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act of 2017,” a bipartisan deal brokered by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Democratic Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). This deal would stabilize the ACA for two years by continuing ACA subsidies to private health insurers for coverage of low-income individuals (i.e., cost-sharing reduction payments). It would also give states more flexibility to offer a wider variety of health insurance plans.
In addition, President Trump is reported to have accepted the House’s tax reform provision which would eliminate the deduction for State and local income or sales tax, but retain the deduction for real property taxes, subject to a $10,000 maximum. These changes would be made on the Senate floor through the amendment process.