Mark Walker

The GOP’s ‘Vote and Hope’ Caucus
Several House Republicans to vote ‘yes’ in hope of later changes

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, holding up a theoretical postcard tax form, and his leadership team appear to have the votes to pass their tax legislation. But several members say they hope substantial changes to the bill come later. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Many House Republicans planning to vote “yes” on their tax bill Thursday are doing so with the understanding the measure is far from perfect and hoping their concerns will be addressed later during House and Senate conference negotiations.

Sound familiar? It was the same strategy several members employed in voting for a bill in May to partially repeal and replace the 2010 health care law.

House Republicans Raise Red Flags Over Senate Tax Bill
Differences on estate tax, state and local tax deduction could cause issues

Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., has concerns about the Senate not repealing the estate tax and worries the House have to vote on the Senate version of the tax overhaul bill. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The tax overhaul bill the Senate released Thursday could create problems in negotiations with the House, given its divergence on key areas like the estate tax and the state and local tax deduction.

House conservatives are already firing warning shots that some aspects of the Senate bill are unacceptable, like a one-year delay in the corporate tax rate cut and preservation of the estate tax.

Small-Business Concerns Threaten GOP Tax Overhaul
Many Republicans worry small-business owners won’t see benefits

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady and his committee might consider changes to the GOP tax bill’s small-business provisions to address members’ concerns. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Concerns from rank-and-file Republicans about small-business provisions in the House GOP tax bill are emerging as the biggest threats to the legislation’s passage in the chamber.

The specific concerns vary from the types of small businesses that will benefit from a reduced 25 percent tax rate to the amount of so-called pass-through income that will still be taxed at individual rates.

Congress Begins Digesting Tax Bill Outlines
Republicans say they need more detail

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and the GOP leadership team briefed members about their tax legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans leaving a closed-door conference meeting said they needed to see more details of the tax code overhaul before assessing the plan.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said “not enough detail” was provided. “Most of what was talked about in there was still at the 15,000-to-20,000 foot level.”

Rushed Tax-Writing Process Draws Few Complaints — For Now
House GOP still expects to pass tax measure by Thanksgiving

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and GOP leaders want to pass a tax bill by Thanksgiving, a compressed time frame for major legislation that has not been introduced yet. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

While rank-and-file House Republicans know little about the sprawling bill tax writers have been drafting behind closed doors — a measure they could be asked to vote on in just two weeks — few are ready to complain publicly about the rushed process.

As GOP leaders hit pause, pushing the legislation’s unveiling back a day to Thursday, several members interviewed Wednesday said they understood why tax writers were keeping provisions of the long-awaited bill secret. And while they were eager to see the text, they said if they got it this week, they could likely analyze it in time for a floor vote before Thanksgiving.

Tax ‘Whisperer’ Kautter Named Interim IRS Chief
Senior Treasury official will replace the beleaguered John Koskinen

David Kautter will become acting IRS commissioner on Nov. 13. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Thursday tapped David Kautter, a senior tax official at the Treasury Department, to become acting IRS commissioner, starting Nov. 13.

Kautter will temporarily take over the top job at a critical time for the agency, as Republicans work on a major tax code overhaul and an IRS audit of the president’s own taxes continues. He will succeed Commissioner John Koskinen, the embattled IRS chief whose term ends Nov. 12.

Alexander-Murray a ‘Nonstarter’ Say House Conservatives
Hatch and Brady to propose alternative solution

Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House conservatives appear united in opposition to the health care stabilization proposal crafted by Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray.

“Right now it’s a nonstarter,” House Freedom Caucus member Dave Brat said Tuesday during a Conversations with Conservatives press event.

Poll: Most Americans Disapprove of Trump’s Subsidy Slash
Two senators reached bipartisan deal Tuesday to fund cost-reducing subsidies

Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., reached an agreement Tuesday to fund cost-sharing reduction payments the president axed from the executive schedule last week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Most Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump’s decision to end Obama-era federal subsidies to insurers that lower costs for low- and middle-income families, a new poll found.

Fifty-three percent of respondents to an Economist/YouGov poll conducted Oct. 15 and 16 said they disapproved of the executive move, compared to 31 percent who were in favor. Sixteen percent declined to give an opinion.

Senators Reach Bipartisan Deal on Health Care
Alexander, Murray have an agreement on stabilizing insurance marketplaces

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander and ranking member Patty Murray have a tentative deal on legislation to stabilize the insurance marketplaces. (Tom Williams/Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander said he has reached an agreement with Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the panel’s ranking Democrat, on a limited deal to stabilize the individual health insurance markets.

Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, briefed GOP senators on that deal during their weekly policy lunch Tuesday.

Trump to Stop Paying Obamacare Cost-Sharing Subsidies
Schumer and Pelosi: ‘American families will suffer just because President Trump wants them to’

President Donald Trump speaks as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) left, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, third from right, and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, second from right, look on after Trump signed the executive order to loosen restrictions on Affordable Care Act "to promote health care choice and competition." (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The administration will stop reimbursing health insurers for the 2010 health care law’s controversial cost-sharing reduction payments, the White House said Thursday night.

“Based on guidance from the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services has concluded that there is no appropriation for cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies under Obamacare,” the White House Office of the Press Secretary said in a statement. “In light of this analysis, the Government cannot lawfully make the cost-sharing reduction payments.”