LIVE UPDATES: Republicans roll out GOP tax reform bill

LIVE UPDATES: Republicans roll out GOP tax reform bill 

Posted: 11:19 am Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

By Jamie Dupree

Republicans in the U.S. House rolled out their long awaited tax reform bill on Wednesday, vowing to quickly move it through the Congress, arguing it will help spur economic growth, job creation, and in turn bring in more revenue to Uncle Sam to deal with the growing federal deficit and debt. But the details quickly faced opposition from some key business groups, as well as GOP lawmakers, who worried about how the elimination of certain personal deductions would impact voters back home.

The GOP bill is 429 pages in all. Click on the link to read through the fine print.

And click here for a detailed analysis of the bill from the GOP. This document helps you understand some of the changes the GOP would make in this legislation, especially on individual deductions, many of which would be repealed.

The bill won’t be named the “Cut, Cut, Cut Act,” as some said was favored by President Donald Trump. Instead the official name is “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”

Here’s the latest on what we know about the GOP plan.


6:00 pm – I will end the updates on this blog by giving the link for the all-important financial impact of the various GOP proposals. This was put together by the Joint Committee on Taxation.


5:00 pm – Under the ‘education savings’ section of the bill, there is a provision that deals with 529 savings plans. One provision would let you start a college savings account for a child who has not yet been born.




4:45 pm – While the Senate has not unveiled a tax reform bill as yet, individual GOP Senators are watching closely from across the Capitol, sending some warning shots back toward the House on specific provisions. One of those is on the Child Tax Credit, Which Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and others have been talking about for months. Rubio, joined with Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) in this statement; just one of many legislative skirmishes that this tax effort faces in the weeks ahead.




4:30 pm – Are there still troubles on the GOP side? Yes, there are. A group of Republicans from New York and New Jersey are not pleased with the details involving changes on itemized deductions. But in interviewing GOP lawmakers in the Capitol today, one also gets the sense that Republicans know they can’t screw this up – and that may keep them together, unlike on health care.

4:15 pm – If there is one thing to emphasize from today, it is the change that will occur for people who itemize their deductions. The standard deduction will go up to $12,000 for an individual, and $24,000 for a family, but then familiar deductions will be limited or repealed.




3:45 pm – Democrats in Congress aren’t exactly embracing the GOP tax plan. “It looks to be a giant giveaway to the wealthy,” said Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA). President Trump says he hopes to win over some Democrats, but there isn’t any evidence of that yet.

3:30 pm – Asking questions of GOP lawmakers about the new tax bill sometimes doesn’t get much of a response, even from lawmakers who were involved in negotiations. “I haven’t read the text,” said Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX), when asked about one provision. Marchant said work on Wednesday night broke up late. “Around the 8th inning,” he said with a smile, about the World Series.

3:00 pm – My boss asked me for my top bullet points about the GOP bill. It’s sort of hard to distill a 429 page proposal into a few lines, but that’s my job in radio news. So, this is what I went with. There is certainly a lot more in the GOP plan to talk about. You can find the links to the bill text and the section-by-section analysis above.




2:45 pm – President Trump says he’s very pleased with the details of the House GOP tax reform plan unveiled today, as he urges lawmakers to push ahead, and vote on the bill before Thanksgiving.

2:30 pm – President Trump name-checks H&R Block, by saying this reform bill will simplify the code so much, that tax preparation companies won’t have much business. But others say the changes will more than keep lawyers and accountants active.

2:15 pm – Among the major changes in the GOP tax reform bill, an end to the Alternative Minimum Tax.



2:00 pm – The changes on mortgage interest are of note; not only would it change the $1 million limit on a residence, and reduce that to $500,000 mortgages, but it also says it would only apply to a principal residence – meaning vacation homes wouldn’t count.




1:45 pm – While this wouldn’t have much of a budget impact, there is a provision in the GOP tax reform bill which would no longer allow state and local governments to issue bonds for pro sports stadiums, where the interest gained on the bonds is exempt from federal taxes. That would save $200 million over 10 years.




1:30 pm – Despite some talk earlier this week by GOP lawmakers and President Trump, there were no health care changes included in the bill which addressed either the individual mandate of the Obama health law, or Obamacare in general.


1:15 pm – Two major budget watchdog groups in Washington, D.C. aren’t pleased with the GOP tax bill, arguing it will only further increase the federal debt, and not restrain the size of government.

1:10 pm – The National Association of Home Builders isn’t backing off its opposition to the details of the GOP tax plan, charging it will hurt the nation’s housing industry.

12:54 pm – There is still work to do for GOP leaders in the House, as the fine print on the state and local tax deduction (SALT) is not winning over Republicans from the East Coast. This from Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY).

12:50 pm – Also underwhelmed is Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who wanted a bigger increase in the Child Tax Credit.

12:46 pm – President Trump calls the release of the GOP tax plan “a great day” for the American worker. “A great bill,” Mr. Trump added when asked for his opinion by reporters after an Oval Office event.

12:31 pm – The tax break that people can take advantage of when purchasing season tickets for college athletics would be repealed under the GOP plan.




12:28 pm – The business provisions in this plan aren’t enough for the National Federation of Independent Businesses, as they join the National Association of Home Builders and the National Association of Realtors in expressing opposition to the GOP tax reform bill.

12:22 pm – Here are some of the highlights of how personal deductions would change under the GOP tax plan:




12:17 pm – President Trump weighs in on the GOP tax plan, calling it “another important step toward providing massive tax relief for the American people.”




12:15 pm – Many people probably don’t know that the current federal tax code allows you to deduct certain gambling losses. That will still be allowed under the new GOP tax plan.




12:08 pm – Federal estate taxes would be repealed in this tax reform plan, but not until the end of 2023.




12:05 pm – By far, this is one of the most important documents on the GOP tax bill – what’s known as the Section-by-Section Analysis. Have fun reading it!

12:02 pm – The GOP tax plan would end all future contributions to education savings accounts named after the late Sen. Paul Coverdell (R-GA). This has been a target of Republican tax plans in previous years as well, an effort to consolidate various education savings programs.




11:57 am – This will get a lot of support from conservatives in Republican circles, as the GOP tax reform bill would no longer prevent churches and religious organizations from having to stay on the edges of the political arena.

11:55 am – There are all sorts of provisions to find in a 429 page bill. This one would assess a 1.4% tax on the investment endowments of private colleges and universities.

11:45 am – The GOP tax reform bill begins with individual rates, as one might expect.

11:39 am – The GOP news conference continues in the Ways and Means Committee, which deals with tax issues. And now we have the bill:

11:34 am – Signifying the importance of this bill, it will be given the highest priority bill number in the U.S. House. H.R. 1.

11:33 am – It will be interesting to dig into the details of the bill, and see just how closely it aligns with this Republican promise, to make the tax code much simpler, and allow taxpayers to file their returns on a postcard.

11:28 am – “The typical family of four will save $1,182 a year on their taxes,” says House Speaker Paul Ryan, as he starts the announcement on the GOP tax reform bill.

11:20 am – A reminder that details do matter. And there will be a lot of details in this bill.

11:10 am – Some specifics are beginning to leak out from GOP leaders, even before the bill has been posted.

11:00 am – But not all conservative groups are opposed either. This from Freedom Works, which has spent a lot of time torturing the GOP leadership in Congress. This time, they are all in on tax reform.

10:45 am – Some conservative groups are on board – even before the details – while some are raising questions. This landed in my inbox from the group “Freedom Partners,” which has ties to the Koch Brothers and conservative Republicans.

10:30 am – It’s clear that this draft Republican bill will still see changes – maybe even before it’s considered next week in the House Ways and Means Committee, as indications are that negotiations are continuing with a group of mainly northeastern Republicans, who don’t like how the plan handles changes in the deductions for mortgage interest, state and local taxes, and property taxes.

10:23 am – Not every Republican is going to be on board with this bill.

10:15 am – This is what is being handed out to GOP lawmakers in a closed door meeting – what one might refer to as “talking points.”

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