Week ahead: House panel to mark up tax bill | Trump pushes to repeal ObamaCare mandate | Blue Dog Dems weigh support for GOP bill

Week ahead: House panel to mark up tax bill | Trump pushes to repeal ObamaCare mandate | Blue Dog Dems weigh support for GOP bill
© Greg Nash

House Republicans released their sweeping bill to rewrite the tax code on Thursday, the first step toward fulfilling a key agenda item. The 429-page bill makes dozens of changes to tax rates and deductions for both individuals and corporations, and earned wide praise from Republicans.

Many GOP lawmakers and the White House backed the bill soon after its release. But several Republicans from highly populated states expressed concerns about the removal of a deduction for high state and local taxes.

Most conservative nonprofits, right-leaning think tanks and business groups praised the GOP plan, but the National Federation of Independent Businesses and several homebuilding groups opposed the bill. Home industry groups oppose changes that undercut the mortgage interest deduction.


Republican leaders will be forced to address those concerns and more in the House Ways and Means Committee markup of the tax bill, scheduled for Monday at noon.

Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyBusinesses, states pass on Trump payroll tax deferral Trump order on drug prices faces long road to finish line On The Money: US deficit hits trillion amid pandemic | McConnell: Chance for relief deal 'doesn't look that good' | House employees won't have payroll taxes deferred MORE (R-Texas) told reporters he expects the markup to wrap up by Thursday and wants to foster a thoughtful debate about tax policy.

"Four days of open, full-throated debate, with all these amendments in the tax code, I think will let the American people see something they haven't seen in a long time, which is real debate on a real tax-reform plan," Brady said.

Brady said work will take place to amend the bill in the Ways and Means committee, before the measure is brought to the House floor and in a conference committee if it passes the Senate.

However, he does not expect that amendments to the bill will be allowed when it's considered on the House floor.

Most Democrats have ripped the bill, calling it a "disgrace" and a windfall for the rich and powerful. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the bill "a shell game" and "a Ponzi scheme," while Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' 3 reasons why Biden is misreading the politics of court packing Cruz blocks amended resolution honoring Ginsburg over language about her dying wish MORE (D-N.Y.) compared it to a fish out of water: "If it stays out in the sunlight too long, it stinks."

Even so, conservative-leaning Democrats said that they will take a look at the bill in hopes of reaching a bipartisan consensus.

The leaders of the Blue Dogs said they are studying the bill to see if it meets their standards. If Republicans cross the aisle for input, they suggested, there may be room for them to jump on board.

"As Blue Dogs, the door is never closed to pursuing bipartisan solutions," the three Blue Dog co-chairmen — Reps. Jim CostaJames (Jim) Manuel CostaHouse Democrats call on State Department for information on Uighur prisoner Ekpar Asat Hispanic Caucus requests meeting with private detention center CEOs Black Caucus rallies behind Meeks for Foreign Affairs gavel MORE (D-Calif.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) and Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.) — said in a statement.

Republicans are also weighing whether to take another shot at repealing parts of ObamaCare after failing to unite the party behind a health-care overhaul.

President Trump told House Republicans in a meeting Thursday that he still wants to repeal ObamaCare's individual mandate in a tax package, perhaps in the Senate, according to two lawmakers in attendance.

"He just said he liked the idea and he had asked the senators about it and they said they were considering it," said Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), who was in attendance at the meeting of House leaders and Ways and Means Committee members with Trump at the White House.  

Trump on Wednesday tweeted that he wanted to repeal the mandate, which requires people to have health insurance or pay a fine, as part of tax reform.

Brady has previously rejected the idea, worrying it would jeopardize the tax measure, and the provision did not make it into the tax bill released Thursday. Even so, Brady said Friday that lawmakers would consider scrapping the mandate in the bill after Trump's repeated requests.

"There are pros and cons to this," Brady said at an event Friday hosted by Politico. "Importing health care into a tax-reform debate has consequences.

"No decisions have been made; we're listening to members and certainly the president as well."

Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump stokes fears over November election outcome The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Abortion stirs GOP tensions in Supreme Court fight MORE (R-Ark.) urged Republicans to use their tax bill to repeal the individual mandate, criticizing claims it would make the tax plan harder to pass.

"I know some of my colleagues around here, especially some of my Republican colleagues say, 'Oh no, we can't go back to health care,' " Cotton argued. " 'It's going to make a tax bill harder to pass.' Nonsense. It makes a tax bill easier to pass ... because it helps make the fiscal picture balance and it helps deliver more tax cuts."


Your week ahead:






Recap the week with Overnight Finance:

Monday: Trump expected to nominate Powell for Fed on Thursday | Ryan says Mueller indictments won't stop tax reform | Regulator pleads with Trump to save arbitration rule | Trump under pressure for tax win

Tuesday: GOP delays release of tax bill | Changes to 401(k)s, state and local taxes hold up bill | Trump aims to sign tax legislation by Christmas | Hensarling to retire after term | Trump to repeal arbitration rule

Wednesday: Trump repeals consumer arbitration rule | GOP scrambles on tax bill | Trump floats repealing ObamaCare mandate in tax bill | Powell told he'll be picked for Fed chair | Fed holds off on rate hike | Bank nominee gets rough reception

Thursday: GOP launches sales pitch for tax bill | Bill's winners and losers | NY, NJ Republicans voice concerns | Trump eyes 'tax cut for Christmas' | Dems call bill a 'disgrace' | Powell tapped for Fed chair


Today's stories:

GOP chairman expects to finish tax bill markup by Thursday, by Naomi Jagoda

Steph Curry on mention in GOP tax plan: 'Mama, I made it', by Sylvan Lane

Economy adds 261K jobs in October, by Vicki Needham

US backs out of global oil anti-corruption effort, by John Bowden


Write us with tips, suggestions and news: slane@thehill.com, vneedham@thehill.com, njagoda@thehill.com and nelis@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane,  @VickofTheHill, @NJagoda and @NivElis.