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House Republicans raise red flags over Senate tax bill

Lindsey McPherson, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in News & Features

Brady said he'd let the Senate do its work and expressed confidence that the House members from high-tax states would get on board with his bill.

"I think for us addressing this with the state and local property deduction and really muscling up the family credit is helping a lot of a families in SALT states," he said.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Thursday dismissed concerns about differences between the House and Senate bills, saying they would be reconciled after each chamber passes a bill. A floor vote on the House version is expected next week.

The speaker promised there will be a conference committee, and he dismissed criticism from a Democratic aide who overheard him and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell laughing after Ryan told the Kentucky Republican, "We're definitely going to conference."

"Put the political hack aside; we are going to conference," Ryan said when asked about the exchange at his weekly news conference. "And that's the point I've been making, is we're going to conference. That wasn't a joke. The person, I don't even know which hack did that, but if you were there it's, 'We're going to conference.' Why are we going to conference? Because we're doing this (the) right way. We're doing this regular order."

But some members, like Perry, are skeptical that a conference committee will materialize.

GOP leaders also said the House would go to conference with the Senate on their differing budget resolutions but ultimately cut a deal that allowed them to take up the Senate resolution. They sold it to their members as a way to speed up the tax overhaul process, and it has kept them on track for a House floor vote before Thanksgiving.

With President Donald Trump wanting a tax bill to sign by Christmas, GOP leaders might face pressure again to skip a conference committee, which would require a second round of votes in each chamber, and try to reconcile their differences before the Senate passes its version so that the upper chamber can pass a measure the lower chamber can accept.

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