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Washington, D.C. (December 5, 2017) On December 2, 2017, the Tax Foundation released a report highlighting the differences between the House and Senate versions of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This report breaks down how the legislative process will work to get a final bill agreed upon by both chambers.

The U.S. Senate passed their version of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, last week. On Monday, December 4, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to move the bill into conference to determine what the final tax reform bill will encompass.

Important Differences Between the House and Senate Tax Reform Bills Heading into Conference
By Jared Walczak



That will be important. When the chambers pass different versions of a bill, conferees are appointed by both the House and the Senate to produce a "conference report" that is satisfactory to the majority of conferees from each chamber. (More on this later, after the table.) The closer the two sides are going into conference, the easier the resulting process.



Here are several important ways in which they differ, all of which would have to be resolved in conference committee. Some are modest, while others, like the fate of the alternative minimum tax and the chambers' competing approaches to the taxation of pass-through business income, are likely to keep conferees busy. This list, while not exhaustive, covers the major differences between the versions that passed each chamber.



The conference report must then be approved by both chambers. Such reports are privileged, meaning that the motion to proceed to consideration of the report is not debatable, and that the report must be considered as-is, without amendments. In the case of reconciliation bills, moreover, there is no filibuster, and debate is limited to ten hours. These rules are all very important to the prospects of a bill that passed the Senate with such a narrow margin. But as that margin shows, there may be scant room to negotiate.



Read the full report and see the breakdown of differences between the two bills here.

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