New GOP tax bill not scheduled for vote on Friday

The year-end tax bill from outgoing House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradySmaller tax refunds put GOP on defensive Key author of GOP tax law joins Ernst and Young Lawmakers beat lobbyists at charity hockey game MORE (R-Texas) isn't getting a House floor vote this week as had been expected — the latest sign of trouble for a package that already faces stiff odds in the Senate.

The House passed the rule for the tax bill Thursday evening, and at that time the House Republican cloakroom had listed a vote on the substance of the bill for Friday morning. But the schedule for Friday released by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyOvernight Energy: McConnell tees up vote on Green New Deal | Centrist Dems pitch alternative to plan | House Republican likens Green New Deal to genocide | Coca-Cola reveals it uses 3M tons of plastic every year House GOP lawmaker says Green New Deal is like genocide GOP lawmakers: House leaders already jockeying for leadership contests MORE (R-Calif.) does not include the bill. Republicans are still working to secure enough votes for it to pass the House.

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"The tax bill was whipped this week and we are still working members to get it ready for a final floor vote," a GOP aide said.

The bill would need 60 votes to clear the Senate, a significant challenge in a chamber where Republicans control just 51 seats.

The bill, which is about 300 pages long, includes several different priorities that Brady has expressed interest in completing by the end of the year, including the renewal of expired tax breaks known as "tax extenders," disaster tax relief, technical corrections to the 2017 GOP tax law, incentives for retirement savings and reforms to the IRS.

The bill only needs a simple majority to pass the House, so the delay of the vote suggests that there aren't enough Republican votes. The Wall Street Journal reported that there are concerns from some Republicans about a provision in the bill to extend a higher excise tax on coal, and that GOP lawmakers are making many requests since their time in the majority is coming to an end.

Additionally, a number of lawmakers weren't in Washington at the end of the week. Fifteen House Republicans, many of whom won't be in Congress next year, didn't vote on the rule on Thursday.

Brady told reporters that House Republicans had been focused on their elections for committee ranking members and were going to "refocus" on the tax package on Friday. He said he didn't know if changes were going to need to be made to the bill.

While Congress frequently renews the tax extenders at the end of a year, and many of the provisions in the package are based on bipartisan legislation, Democrats are opposed to the bill and are upset they didn't see it until Brady released the bill to the press.

Democrats also dislike the bill's cost of about $55 billion, and they don't want to make technical fixes to the 2017 tax law unless more substantive changes are also made.

Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownWarren, Klobuchar call on FTC to curtail use of non-compete clauses The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Dems put manufacturing sector in 2020 spotlight Trump faces political risks in fight over GM plant MORE (D-Ohio) and liberal groups are also linking the bill to General Motors' announcement of layoffs and are saying that any tax bill should change the tax code so that companies' foreign and domestic earnings are taxed at the same rate.

- Updated at 10:53 a.m.