The Road to Passing Tax Reform

This blog has been updated to include the most recent events surrounding the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act.

The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act was born out of years of research and work put in by the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. Building on this and the input of American families, business leaders, and policy experts, this vision and plan for tax reform will put American workers back at the center of our tax code.

Getting to this historic moment took time. Really, it all started back in January 2011 when the committees began their work. Now, seven years later, 227 House members voted to pass this tax code overhaul. So, what happened in those six and a half years leading up to November 16, 2017?

Let’s walk through it.

In 2011, the work began with public hearings, member input, business expertise, and American families. The focus of each of these? How to relieve the burden of our decades-old tax code through job creation, bigger paychecks, lower taxes, and growing the American economy.

Five years later, in June 2016, we introduced the Better Way Agenda which included our blueprint for tax reform. After this release, the Ways and Means Committee continued to meet with taxpayers, business leaders, job creators, and policy experts to discuss how the blueprint could be transformed into legislation.

The following year, in April 2017, the Trump administration released its tax reform principles in a one-pager, the 2017 Tax Reform for Economic Growth and American Jobs.

This is when things really flew into motion. Over the remainder of the summer, Republicans opened up the conversation about our plans for tax reform. Across the various communications spectrums, we explained our goals, process, and vision for this tax overhaul.

Then the first big day.

On September 27, 2017, we released the Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code. This was the first big step towards making our vision a reality. The framework served as a blueprint for the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee to flesh out the legislative details for pro-growth tax reform

Next, on October 5, 2017, we passed the 2017 budget. This was the key to unlocking tax reform with a simple majority vote in the Senate. By the end of October, the final budget was passed and tax reform cleared that hurdle.

A few days later, on November 2, 2017, we introduced the official bill text of tax reform, the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. This was the big one. Finally, after years of planning, we introduced the legislative text to the world. In the days following, the Ways and Means Committee began its consideration of the bill. They went to “markup” where the bill was debated and finalized for votes in the full House of Representatives.

Then a historic moment in the House. On November 16, 2017, the House passed our version of Tax Reform with the vote of 227 members. This was a monumental step towards bringing you tax reform that will create more jobs, increase take home pay, and make life simpler for everyday Americans.

Then the next historic moment. This time in the Senate. About two weeks later, on December 2, 2017, the Senate passed their version of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act with a vote of 51-49.

Now, you might think the next step was President Trump, but that was not the case.

Next, the House and Senate came together to discuss the differences in each bill. The went to something called conference committee to reconcile the legislation and produce a final version of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act that was voted on again by each chamber before heading to the President’s desk.

And so, on December 19, 2017 the Senate passed the final version of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. The next day, December 20, 2017 the House passed the final bill.

Finally, on December 22, 2017, after years of research and hard work, President Donald J. Trump signed the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act into law.