House Republicans maintained Wednesday evening that they would unveil historic tax legislation Thursday morning, even as they acknowledged that central issues still had yet to be resolved.
“Stay tuned. We’re less than 24 hours away,” House Ways and Means Committee chairman Kevin Brady told reporters at the U.S. Capitol Thursday night.
A spokesperson for the committee indicated that the bill would be released Thursday morning. The panel had worked for most of Tuesday and Wednesday to try to finalize the bill.
Nevertheless, House Republicans said that they were still negotiating among themselves over major issues.
One such blank to be filled in was the treatment of the state and local tax deduction. Republicans from high-tax blue states have sought to maintain part of the tax break, which disproportionately benefits their constituents and was targeted for elimination in the original GOP plan. Republicans said that they were making progress toward a compromise, but had not yet achieved one as of Wednesday night.
It appeared that the GOP plan was to continue revising the bill on the fly, addressing significant items even after its initial introduction.
Major changes could be made in between the bill’s unveiling and when Brady introduces an amendment to be offered at the markup session planned for Monday. Then, more changes could be made at the committee’s consideration of the bill.
Brady suggested Wednesday night that the first draft of the bill might not initially lower the corporate tax rate to 20 percent immediately and permanently. Brady and House Speaker Paul Ryan have long said that permanence is key to business tax changes. Brady said Wednesday that the goal remained to make the tax rate cuts permanent in the bill that ultimately goes to President Trump’s desk.
Members of the committee mostly dodged questions about those and other key unresolved issues at votes in the House Wednesday.
Nevertheless, they maintained that they would produce a bill in the morning.
“This is a work in progress, but I think we’re looking good,” said committee member Tom Reed, R-N.Y. “I’m confident.”