The Republicans will try on Monday to urgently reconcile the tax review projects they approved in the House of Representatives and the Senate, entering a delicate period where they have to retain the support of the conservative and moderate members of their party.
Party leaders insist that there are no noticeable differences between their two bills, each of which presents a decrease in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. Even so, the bills differ by hundreds of billions of dollars.
Lawmakers expect an intense period of work starting Monday as lobbyists descend to the conference committee that will negotiate the differences between the two laws. Of particular concern will be the changes made hours before the Senate approved its final legislation early on Saturday, when the Senate amended its bill to preserve a provision of the current tax code that establishes a minimum floor tax alternative for very wealthy people . That provision would be eliminated in the House bill, and eliminating the alternative minimum tax has been a priority for Republican Party tax writers.
Negotiations will begin when Congress faces Friday's deadline to approve separate spending legislation or face a government shutdown, and for that task Republicans may need votes from Democrats. However, the Democrats are not eager to rescue the Republican Party on any issue, even keeping the government open, after seeing how Republicans marginalized them to pbad a bill that weighs heavily in favor of American companies and the rich. .  Republicans insist they will approve a final version of the tax law for President Trump to sign before Christmas, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Projected confidence on Sunday. And even the Democrats acknowledged that by obtaining tax legislation through the Senate, Republicans got the most difficult part, given their failures in that chamber so far this year in their other holder, repealing the Affordable Care Act.
"We" I will be able to reach an agreement, "McConnell said on ABC on" This Week. " I am very optimistic about it. And we believe that this will make a big difference in getting our economy moving again and providing jobs and opportunities for the American people. "
Discussions are expected to continue throughout the week and could conclude as soon as next week week with the drafting of a so-called "conference report" that constitutes the final legislation, that bill must go through each chamber before Trump can enact it.
Probably the most sensitive discussions will be held on how tax the so-called "transfer" companies.There are millions of these companies in the United States, and can range from small businesses to large real estate companies and professional sports franchises.They are often owned by a single entity or society, and their Income is transferred to the owners, who pay taxes on that money through the individual income tax code.  659002] The two projects adopt markedly different approaches to the taxation of liabilities. through commercial revenue, with the House bill that provides a much larger tax cut.
But it might be impossible to adopt the House's approach to the issue, given the rigid budgetary rules under which the bill in the Senate must be approved. The House bill, said several advisers, would not approve those rules because it would increase long-term deficits, beyond the next decade. The bill approved by the Senate contains multiple commitments and progressive eliminations of certain tax cuts to limit its impact on the deficit.
There has also been a wave of complaints in recent days from companies about the Senate's last-minute decision to retain the alternative minimum tax for corporations. It is expected that there will be great pressure from business groups to force Republicans to revoke or reduce this tax.
"We are not exempt from differences, but they are easily reconcilable differences, easy to fix", chief deputy of the House Whip Patrick T. McHenry (RN.C.) said in an interview on Sunday. "Have to fight".
McHenry noted that the leaders had to take into account the narrow margin of the party in the Senate and the Byzantine rules that the Republican Party had to use to pbad the law, but added that the Chamber The package was designed with the highest considerations complicated of the Senate in mind.
There are several other problems that must be solved.
Senate bills begin to reduce the corporate tax rate in 2019, and the House bill begins to reduce it in 2018. House and Senate bills take different approaches to the individual fiscal parentheses: the House bill has only four parentheses, and the maximum rate remains unchanged at 39.6 percent; The Senate Bill maintains seven brackets, but lowers the maximum rate to 38.5.
The House bill creates a five-year "family flexibility loan" that aims to help families reduce their taxes. The bill of the Senate has no such measure.
The House bill completely eliminates the estate tax, a tax paid on inheritances that is limited almost exclusively to the wealthiest, as of 2024, while the Senate bill drastically cuts it down without completely getting rid of him.
The Senate moved to resolve a possible point of friction between the two chambers, moving to reduce, rather than completely eliminate, the deduction for state and local taxes. The Senate bill adopts a House compromise that would allow people to deduct up to $ 10,000 in property taxes only. But some Republicans in the House of Representatives, including those in California and New York, have continued to push for a deduction for state income taxes, and Republican aides said that this could become a problem at the conference.
Rep. Tom Reed (RN.Y.), a member of the Ways and Means Committee who helped draft the House provision, said the inclusion of the Senate bill for property tax deduction was "a great first step." "But he said he was" strongly advocating an income tax. " component "in the final bill.
The Senate bill allows almost all tax cuts for individuals and families to expire after 2025, a step that was taken to ensure that the bill would not increase the deficit beyond the levels allowed under the complex rules of the Senate White House budget director Mick Mulvaney insisted again on Sunday that these cuts would not really expire because a future Congress would extend them.
"The cuts Bush prosecutors were the same way, and most of them did not expire. We said before and we will say it again, if it is a good policy, it will be permanent. If it's a bad policy, it will be temporary, "Mulvaney said on CBS's" Face the Nation. "
It is also uncertain how negotiations on mandatory spending legislation will interact with the talks on the tax bill. his "yes" votes on the tax bill, two Republican senators made demands on issues that are already intertwined with spending legislation.
Senator Jeff Flake (Republican for Arizona) made the administration agree to work with him to find a solution for immigrants illegally brought to this country as children and face a possible risk of deportation in March after Trump announced that he was ending the protections they received under the Obama administration.Although Flake did not draw any specific commitment , that is an issue on which the Democrats are posing threats of closure of the government if not It is addressed in the legislation of short-term spending to keep the government open.
And Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) demanded vote guarantees on two bipartisan bills aimed at stabilizing markets, after Republicans included in the tax legislation a repeal of Obamacare's individual mandate that demands that almost All Americans have health insurance or face fines. These bills could be included in mandatory spending legislation, but face opposition from Republicans in the House of Representatives.
Trump himself is a wild card. After pushing for a long time for a corporate rate even lower than 20 percent, the president unexpectedly suggested on Saturday that he could accept that rate that goes up to 22 percent. That change would release critical revenues to pay for other changes, since the legislation can not create net tax cuts of more than $ 1.5 trillion under GOP agreements.
McConnell has already suggested that he would not be a starter. But other such unpredictable pronouncements by the president could disrupt the negotiations.
Karen Tumulty contributed to this report.