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H.R. 1: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Dec 20, 2017 at 12:31 a.m. ET. On the Motion to Recede and Concur with Further Amendment in the Senate.

This was a vote to pass H.R. 1 (115th) in the Senate.

Update #4 --- Dec. 17, 2017

House and Senate Republicans have come to an agreement on the tax bill, H.R. 1, which they intend to pass before Congress goes on recess on the 22nd.

Senate Democrats want the final vote to be delayed until Senator-elect Doug Jones (D-AL) has been seated, just as they had waited for Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) to be seated before the final vote on the Affordable Care Act back in 2010. But the tax bill is likely to passin both chambers before then. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), the only Republican to vote no in the previous Senate vote, will support the final bill. Corker voted against the Senate bill because it could "deepen the debt burden on future generations" by increasing the deficit by over $1.4 trillion. The final bill would also increase the deficit by over $1.4 trillion, and by $41 billion more than the Senate bill would have.

We cover important provisions that made it into the final version of the bill:

For Corporations:

For Individuals:

For Senators:

There were a few provisions included specifically to appease Republican Senators on the verge of voting no. They are:

We got a lot of our information from this Bloomberg article. This Washington Post article was also helpful, as it includes a section on provisions that did _not _make it into the final bill, such as allowing churches to make campaign contributions and the repeal of the student loan deduction.

Update #3---Dec. 5, 2017

The Senate Republican tax bill passed by a vote of 51–49 Friday, 12/1/2017. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) was the only Republican to vote against the bill, on the grounds that it “could deepen the debt burden on future generations.”

Monday night the House voted to go to conference committee and selected its conferees. The Senate is expected to select its conferees later this week.

Some of the last minute changes made to the Senate version to satisfy otherwise hesitant Republican senators were made so hastily that they were hand-written in the margins.

You can read a scan of the final bill here, complete with scribbled out sections (pgs. 70–74) and handwritten text (pg. 257). For more information on the key differences between the House and Senate bills, this Washington Post article is helpful.

CNBC Summary

No repeal of the alternative minimum tax (AMT)

Senate Republicans chose to not only not repeal the AMT, but to also raise the minimum thresholds for those affected. The House bill still includes the repeal of the AMT.

Reduced threshold for medical expense deduction

Although the bill did include the repeal of the individual mandate, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) pushed to make medical expenses that reach 7.5% of gross income deductible, as opposed to the current 10%. The House bill would repeal the deduction entirely.

Sen. Collins also succeeded in pushing for a $10,000 property tax deduction, which is included in the House bill.

Increased deduction for pass-through businesses

The deduction for pass-through businesess was increased from 17.4% to 23%to appease Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Steve Daines (R-MT), who had threatened to oppose otherwise. This deduction was also extended to Publicly Traded Partnerships in different amendment.

Tax advantage for private school and homeschooling

A controversial amendment by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) would allow parents to use tax-advantaged college savings plans to pay for expenses for private school tuition, or up to $10,000 for homeschooling. It passed with a tie-breaker vote from the Vice President after Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) voted nay against party lines.

Non-tax related provisions

Permitting oil drilling in Alaskan wildlife refuge

College Savings for Fetuses

Update #2---Nov. 27, 2017

Senate Republicans are pushing to pass the tax bill, with a vote coming possibly as soon as tomorrow, November 28, 2017. However there are still several Republicans on the fence: There are ten Republican senators who may vote no, and it only takes three for the bill to fail. We cover who they are and their reasoning:

Small Businesses:

Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Steve Daines (R-MT)came out against the current version of the bill, expressing concern that it puts small businesses at a disadvantage against large corporations. Specifically, Sen. Johnson has noted the imbalance of tax cuts for “pass-through” businesses -- whose rates would remain above 30% while corporate rates are reduced to 20%.


Sens. James Lankford (R-OK), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Bob Corker (R-TN) are concerned about raising the deficit, which the CBO estimates the current bill would do by $1.4 trillion. While none of these Senators have explicitly said they would vote no, they have left open the possibility.

Health Care:

Four months after the failed vote on a partial repeal of the ACA, Senate Republicans are taking another shot by going after the individual mandate. This could risk the votes of Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and John McCain (R-AZ), who voted against their party to block the previous partial repeal. Sen. Collins has criticized the provision to repeal the individual mandate. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who also voted against partial repeal, came out in favor of repealing the individual mandate last week.

With some Senators asking for greater tax cuts to small businesses and others concerned about the deficit, Republican leadership is faced with a dilemma: Lowering taxes for pass-through businesses without further raising the deficit will be a challenge.

Our Original Summary

The House Republican tax reform bill, H.R. 1 would dramatically reduce corporate and individual income taxes and would increase the deficit by $1.7 trillion over 10 years — — possibly offset by $338 billion saved by repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.

Impact on Corporations

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, H.R. 1, follows the standard Republican philosophy of trickle-down economics. It includes what would be the largest corporate tax cuts in United States history, intended to incentivize corporations to spend and hire more in the United States. Here are some of the ways H.R. 1 would lower taxes on corporations:

We previously covered what it could mean to reduce the corporate tax rate.

Impact on Individuals and Families

The bill would lower taxes for most people across all income levels, but in the newest Senate version the tax cuts for individuals would expire in 2025. House Republicans boast that under their plan a family of four earning $59,000 (the median household income) would get a $1,182 tax cut. This would come from a rate reduction from 15% to 12% for such families — — but the details are still being worked out and some individuals will see their taxes rise. The full tax bracket threshold amounts of the House bill can be found in the bill text here. Here are some more ways H.R. 1 would lower taxes on individuals and families:

  • It would eliminate the AMT for individuals and families, meaning that individuals could potentially reduce their tax rate significantly, even to zero, via exemptions and deductions. (Ways and Means) This change would mostly affect taxpayers making $200,000 to $500,000.
  • It would double the inherited wealth exempt from the estate tax from $5.5 million to $11 million for six years, and then after that it would eliminate the tax entirely. (Ways and Means)
  • It would nearly double the standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples. (NYTimes)

The Senate version of the bill will also include a repeal of the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that doing so would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 4 million in 2019 and 13 million in 2027 but reduce federal deficits by about $338 billion over ten years.

You can find more differences between the House and Senate tax plans here. The Republican Policy Committee has also posted a summary of the House bill, and this New York Times article provides some helpful charts.


All Votes R D I
Yea 52%
Nay 48%
Not Voting

Motion Agreed to. Simple Majority Required. Source:

The Yea votes represented 45% of the country’s population by apportioning each state’s population to its voting senators.

Ideology Vote Chart

Republican - Yea Democrat - Nay
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