Chairman expects ‘strong support’ among House GOP for mandate repeal in tax bill
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) told reporters Tuesday that he expects most House Republicans will support repealing ObamaCare’s individual mandate in tax legislation, as GOP senators did.
“We’ll be asking our members where do they want us to be on that position. I suspect there will be strong support,” he said.
The House-passed tax bill did not include repeal of the individual mandate, while the Senate bill did. The two chambers now must reconcile their versions of tax-reform legislation in a bicameral conference.
Twenty Republicans voted against the House’s health-care bill in May, which included mandate repeal, though some of those members voted for the House’s tax bill.
Mandate repeal is a top priority for House conservatives. Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, told reporters on Monday night that including mandate repeal in the tax bill is a “must have.”
Besides the ObamaCare mandate, the House and Senate bills differ in other ways.
Under the House bill, tax cuts for individuals are permanent, while under the Senate bill, they would expire after 2025 in order to comply with budget rules.
Brady said that because of the rules, “we can’t achieve permanency in everything,” and that Republicans will want to make permanent the provisions that do most to grow the economy and paychecks.
The Senate bill keeps the alternative minimum tax (AMT) for individuals and corporations, while the House bill does not. Brady said the AMTs “add cost and complexity.”
The House and Senate tax bills take different approaches in providing tax relief for pass-through businesses. Brady said he thinks the two chambers will “blend the best of both the bills.”
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