Republicans are releasing the official text of their final tax bill - here's what to expect

mcconnell trump ryan meetingChip Somodevilla/Getty Images

  • Republicans are set on Friday to release the final text of the compromise version of their massive tax reform bill.
  • The compromise bill, crafted by GOP members of the House and Senate tax committees, will feature a few changes from the previous versions.
  • Republicans leaders want to vote on the bill as early as next Tuesday.

Republicans are expected to release the final version of their massive tax bill on Friday, setting up a frantic stretch to pass the plan through Congress next week.

The bill will be a compromise between the House and Senate versions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, assembled by Republican members mostly from both chambers' tax-writing committees. The text of the legislation will be released around 5:30 p.m. ET, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady said.

The legislation would make large overhauls to both the corporate and individual tax systems. Based on reports and congressional sources, here are some new items in the legislation that differ from the House and Senate bills:
  • It would give corporations a slightly less generous tax cut: The corporate rate is expected to be slashed to 21% instead of 20% as in the House and Senate bills. The current federal corporate rate is 35%.
  • It would increase the refundability of the child tax credit: The bill would increase the child tax credit to $2,000 from the current $1,000, similar to the Senate version of the TCJA. But importantly, the level to which the credit would be refundable would be increased to $1,400 from the Senate bill's limit of $1,100. That change aimed at Sen. Marco Rubio, who threatened to vote against the bill on Thursday if the credit was not more generous.
  • It would allow people to count income or sales tax toward the state and local tax deduction: In the House and Senate bills, people could deduct up to $10,000 in state property taxes from their federal bill. The compromise bill would allow people to deduct up to $10,000 in a combination of state and local property, income, and sales tax. It's unclear if the $10,000 is the same for joint and individual filers.
  • It would increase the threshold for the estate tax: The compromise bill would double the current $5.6 million threshold to qualify for the tax, but the increase would expire, along with all of the individual tax changes, in 2026. Many Republicans wanted to do away with the tax entirely.
  • It would not repeal the Johnson amendment: The Johnson amendment prevents nonprofits organizations from donating directly to political campaigns and was repealed in the House and Senate bills. Critics argued a repeal would allow nonprofits to become de-facto tax-exempt political organizations
  • It would lower the threshold for the medical expense deduction for two years: The House bill repealed the deduction, which allows people who have medical expenses above 10% of their income deduct the costs above that level. Instead, the compromise bill would allow people to take the deduction if these expenses get above 7.5% of their income. Sen. Susan Collins requested this change.

Republican leaders have said they plan to hold a vote on the compromise bill early next week, with a goal to have the bill signed by President Donald Trump by Wednesday.

There are still some worries for Republicans, especially in the Senate. GOP Sen. Bob Corker voted against the original Senate TCJA due to concerns over its potential effect on the federal deficit and debt and is likely to vote against the compromise bill.

Rubio tweeted Friday that the refundability of the child tax credit remains his key issue. A representative for the senator said that Rubio had not come to a decision on the bill yet.

"We have not seen bill text, and until we see if the percentage of the refundable credit is significantly higher, then our position remains the same," Olivia Perez-Cubas, a spokeswoman in Rubio's office, said in an email.

The party can only lose two votes in the Senate to pass the bill.

Concerns have also mounted over the health of two Republican senators, John McCain and Thad Cochran. Both senators' offices have said they will be available for a vote next week.
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