House panel sets up floor debate on GOP tax reform bill
House Republicans’ tax-reform bill is set to reach the floor with no amendments, despite a push from some conservatives to include a repeal of the individual mandate.
The House Rules Committee, which determines how legislation is considered on the floor, approved parameters late Tuesday for four hours of debate and no opportunity for lawmakers to amend the bill before an expected vote at the end of this week.
The House is expected to debate the legislation on Wednesday but wait until Thursday to vote on final passage.
President Trump is scheduled to rally House Republicans on Thursday morning in support of the legislation. The House is expected to vote on the tax overhaul shortly after his Capitol Hill visit.
House GOP leaders are expressing confidence ahead of this week’s expected vote. Only nine Republicans have said they will or are inclined to vote against the bill, according to The Hill’s Whip List.
That’s far less than the maximum 22 defections GOP leaders can afford and still pass the tax overhaul on their own. No Democrats are expected to vote for it.
Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC), submitted an amendment to the tax-reform bill that would have eliminated ObamaCare’s individual mandate, which requires people to buy health insurance or pay a penalty.
Senate Republicans are adding repeal of ObamaCare’s individual insurance mandate to their tax-reform bill, but it’s unclear whether such a proposal can pass muster in the House.
Walker said that the RSC will support the tax overhaul whether or not individual mandate repeal is included.
“If this committee believes this Walker amendment could be a disservice to our common goal of passing [the tax overhaul], I respect that decision and trust your collective wisdom,” Walker said in remarks before the Rules panel.
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