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Blogs / Power

House Passes Fast-Track Tax Bill

August 2, 2012
The House on Thursday passed 232 to 189 a bill to fast-track comprehensive tax reform next year. The expedited process would give a reform bill a clear path to the House floor and allow debate to begin in the Senate with a simple majority vote. 

The bill has almost no chance of being considered by the Senate before the election. But the bill is important because it shows that Republicans in the House and Senate are working closely on tax reform. 

As I wrote last week in National Journal magazine

Nothing better exemplifies the unusual level of teamwork among the GOP's congressional leaders than the House's legislation to fast-track comprehensive tax reform next year. ...

But the mere fact that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., never one to let the House influence the workings of the upper chamber, and House leaders worked together on an end run around Senate procedure is an indication of how seriously congressional Republicans are taking tax reform. "Leader McConnell will support the House bill and will urge [Majority Leader Harry] Reid to pass the measure when it comes to the Senate," spokesman John Ashbrook said.

[snip]

But even if Republicans fail to capture the Senate, fast track may have a future. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., told National Journal, "I'm very interested" in an expedited process. "It's on the table.... Some process to encourage us to enact tax reform will help."
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