Senate parliamentarian rules against GOP tax bill’s name
The Senate parliamentarian on Tuesday ruled that the GOP tax bill’s short name, “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” violates budget rules, according to the office of Senate Budget Committee ranking member Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
The title was found to violate the “Byrd rule” that applies to bills moving under the “budget reconciliation” process that allows legislation to avoid a Democratic filibuster in the Senate. Under the rule, reconciliation bills can’t include provisions that don’t have an impact on the budget.
“The short title has no budgetary impact,” said Sanders spokesman Josh Miller-Lewis. “They have to strike it and use the official title: ‘An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018.’ “
A spokesman for McConnell, Don Stewart, criticized Democrats for raising an issue with the name.
“Democrats want to use the Byrd Rule to strike the title of the bill. I’m not kidding,” he said on Twitter. “But that won’t stop tax relief for people in their states.”
The parliamentarian also ruled that two other provisions in the bill violate the Byrd rule. One would allows 529 college savings plans to be expanded to be used for home-schooling expenses. The other offending provision was part of the criteria used to determine what colleges qualify for a new excise tax.
Because of the parliamentarian’s ruling, the House will have to revote on the tax bill on Wednesday. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill Tuesday evening with the offending provisions stricken.