House and Senate Republicans are still rushing to hash out the final details of their merged tax-cut plan, but most of the action this week will take place behind closed doors. The conference committee negotiating the final tax bill will hold one public meeting on Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET, but don’t expect to learn too much about the horse-trading going on.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), who is leading the conference committee, said the meeting would provide members an opportunity to discuss “our best, most pro-growth tax reform ideas,” but some analysts suspect that it will be more of a public relations effort than a genuine discussion of policy options.
In a note to clients Monday, Chris Krueger, a senior analyst at Cowen Research, said the public conference will feature “the show horses that will take the spotlight as the work horses continue behind the scenes in an effort to cross the Ts and dot the lower-case js.” And the negotiations appear to be pretty well along, with the most serious constraint being a matter of math — how to stay under the $1.5 trillion revenue loss over 10 years imposed by the Senate — rather than politics.
The final bill is expected to be finished by Friday, with a vote likely next week.
Here’s Who’s Shaping the Republicans’ Final Tax Bill
9 House Republicans: In addition to conference committee chair Kevin Brady, the House Republicans include Peter Roskam (IL), Devin Nunes (CA), Diane Black (TN), Kristi Noem (SC), Rob Bishop (UT), Don Young (AK), Fred Upton (MI) and John Shimkus (IL).
8 Senate Republicans: Orrin Hatch (UT), Mike Enzi (WY), John Thune (SD), Lisa Murkowski (AK), John Cornyn (TX), Rob Portman (OH), Tim Scott (SC) and Pat Toomey (PA).
7 Senate Democrats (including one independent): Ron Wyden (OR), Bernie Sanders (VT), Patty Murray (WA), Maria Cantwell (WA), Debbie Stabenow (MI), Robert Menendez (NJ) and Tom Carper (DE).
5 House Democrats: Richard Neal (MA), Sander Levin (MI), Lloyd Doggett (TX), Raúl Grijalva (AZ) and Kathy Castor (FL).