The Senate passed its version of tax reform, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) by a vote of 51-49 in the early hours of Saturday, December 2 along a party-line vote. The vote followed two days of debate and amendments.
The bill would add $1 trillion to the national debt over 10 years. Republican leadership has offered assurances that a waiver of the PAYGO rules, if required, would be included in a must-pass vehicle before the end of the year in order to prevent a sequester-- in order to avoid a Medicare sequester.
The Senate bill would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate, which would result in $300 billion in savings but is criticized for potentially destabilizing the individual health insurance market. Because the Senate bill differs significantly from the version of tax reform passed by the House, the two chambers will now hold a conference to reconcile the differences before both voting on a revised bill. Their goal is to send a final package to the President by the end of the year for his signature. Republican leadership in the House have suggested that repeal of the individual mandate is likely to be included in the final conference committee bill. President Trump has said that he will sign whatever tax bill is passed by Congress.