rules-and-procedure

10 Things to Watch as the Tax Bill Moves Forward
House passage just the first step

President Donald Trump arrives for a meeting with the House Republican Conference in the Capitol on Thursday to discuss the GOP’s tax bill. White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, far left, and House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul D. Irving, foreground, also appear. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House passage of a tax code rewrite Thursday was just the first in a multistep process. Many changes are expected before a bill reaches President Donald Trump’s desk.

First, the Senate has to prove it can pass a tax overhaul after failing to do so on health care.

Senate Ethics Committee Could Get Real Busy, Real Soon
Inquiries of Franken, Menendez and maybe Roy Moore loom

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken likely faces a Senate Ethics Committee investigation, which even he has requested at this point. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Ethics Committee may soon become one of the most active panels in the chamber.

It is all but assured the committee will investigate allegations that Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken groped and kissed a Los Angeles news anchor during a 2006 USO tour. (Franken was not a U.S. senator at the time.) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Franken himself have all called for the panel to take up the case.

Analysis: New Senate Tax Bill Solves Some Issues, Raises Others
‘This is largely a partisan exercise,’ McConnell tells CEOs

If there were any doubts that Republicans were bent on advancing the tax bill with only GOP support, those were squashed on Tuesday by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, seen here with Senate Finance Committee Chairman John Cornyn. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The latest version of the Senate bill to overhaul the U.S. tax code solves some problems for Republican leadership, but potentially creates a host of others.

The updated chairman’s mark would direct more tax relief to lower- and middle-class Americans through several new provisions, including a proposed reduction in the tax rates for the current seven income brackets. But those cuts would now be temporary and expire in 2026. At the same time, the proposal would make the reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent permanent.

Senate GOP Throws Health Care Curveball Into Tax Debate
Bid to repeal individual mandate to pay for tax cuts roils Capitol

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch is presiding over a tension-filled committee markup of the GOP’s tax bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A complicated tax overhaul debate got more complicated Tuesday when Senate Republicans injected health care politics into the equation. 

With a growing number of Senate Republicans seeking bigger tax cuts for individuals and families, but short of ways to finance it, GOP leaders gave the go-ahead to repeal the 2010 health care law’s mandate to purchase insurance to pay for their wish list

House Rules Committee Adopts Closed Rule for GOP Tax Bill
With last hurdle cleared, measure heads to the floor

House Rules Chairman Pete Sessions, center, and Washington Rep. Dan Newhouse, seen here with a staffer in March, joined six other Republicans Tuesday night to send the GOP tax bill to the floor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Republican tax bill cleared the Rules Committee late Tuesday night with no changes or amendments made in order for floor debate.

The panel adopted a closed rule in an 8-3 party-line vote, the last hurdle for the bill to clear before it reaches the floor.

Opinion: Realizing the Vision of Evidence-Based Policymaking
Congress should act quickly to pass new Ryan-Murray legislation

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Washington Sen. Patty Murray recently introduced legislation that implemented many of the recommendations of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Recently, amid the political turmoil over tax reform and other controversial issues, Congress set aside partisan differences to convey an important message to the American public: Better use of evidence in our policymaking process is necessary and possible.

Regardless of their politics, the American people want a government that operates effectively and transparently. The federal government spends billions on programs, yet often lacks the evidence needed to determine whether these programs are working as intended or how they could be improved. Evidence-based policymaking  — making better use of data and rigorous program evaluation to inform government decision-making —holds the key to driving government programs to be more effective.

Freedom Caucus Chairman Predicts Tax Bill Will Pass
But Rep. Mark Meadows says members expect more changes in conference

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows says caucus members still have more changes they’d like to see in the final GOP tax overhaul. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows on Monday predicted the Republican tax bill will pass the House this week, saying several members of his caucus appear willing to support the bill to keep the process moving.

“I think most of our members are a ‘Lean yes,’ some are undecided,” the North Carolina Republican said. “But all of that is with the caveat that there is still much work that needs to be done before there’s support for a final bill. So if this bill were to come up for a final vote on the floor, there wouldn’t be as many yeses as there are right now.”

Senate Backs New Anti-Sexual Harassment Training Rules
Adoption comes hours after allegations about Alabama Senate frontrunner

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., worked to craft the Senate resolution. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate unanimously adopted a resolution Thursday mandating training for senators and staff to combat sexual harassment.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the ranking Democrat on the Rules and Administration Committee, sponsored the final version of the resolution.

A Tax Bill in Plain English? Senate Finance Committee Is Already There
Panel has an unusual history of forgoing legislative language for simple terminology

Former Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona, right, and Max Baucus of Montana were among the Finance Committee members who once debated whether to conduct committee business in plain English or legalese. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Anyone looking for legislative text of the Senate’s tax code overhaul this week will be sorely disappointed.

But it should be no surprise, because unlike the rest of Congress — including their counterparts on the House Ways and Means Committee — members of the Senate Finance panel conduct their business in plain English. The conversion to legislative text takes place on the way to the floor.

Senate Resolution Would Mandate Training to Combat Sexual Harassment
Grassley and Feinstein among leaders of bipartisan effort

Sens. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., are taking lead roles in the Senate’s efforts to update policies on sexual harassment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan group of senators is moving to require employees of the Senate to be trained on addressing and avoiding sexual harassment in the workplace.

The effort, led by Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, takes the form of a Senate resolution that would require everyone from interns to lawmakers to complete training through the Office of Compliance or the Office of the Senate Chief Counsel for Employment within 60 days of starting work in the chamber.