Ryan McCrimmon

Podcast: The Policy Fights That Could Upend Final 2018 Spending Bill
CQ Budget, Episode 50

With half of fiscal year 2018 already behind them, lawmakers are struggling with a catch-all spending bill to fund the rest of the year, but controversial issues popping up — from gun control legislation to the border wall — could cripple talks, says CQ budget and appropriations reporter Ryan McCrimmon.

Show Notes:

10 Policy Issues to Watch in Omnibus Spending Bill
Policy debates could complicate process

A swath of sticky policy debates could entangle an upcoming final spending package for fiscal 2018, as lawmakers aim to attach their pet policy “riders” to the must-pass bill.

Negotiators are aiming to complete work on the massive $1.2 trillion bill and pass it before March 23, when the fifth stopgap funding measure of the fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, expires. Before they do, they’ll need a deal on which policy issues, from guns and immigration to Russia’s election meddling, will ride alongside the spending package.

Podcast: Guns, Immigration Could Trip Up Long-Awaited 2018 Spending Plan
CQ Budget, Episode 49

CQ budget and appropriations reporter Ryan McCrimmon previews what lawmakers are likely to include in a catch-all fiscal 2018 spending bill and the issues that could spark controversy.

Show Notes:

Budget Won’t Balance as Economic Growth Dividend Shrinks
Trump request Includes major military buildup

President Donald Trump on Monday unveiled his annual fiscal 2019 budget request, a $4.4 trillion blueprint that does not balance after 10 years while calling for a major military buildup and assuming lower savings from economic growth than in last year’s iteration.

The tax and spending plan aims to trim $3.6 trillion from annual deficits over the next 10 years through program cuts and associated savings on debt service payments, while bringing in an extra $813 billion in revenue from economic growth.

Rettig Tapped for Top IRS Job
Agency facing critical time with new tax law implementation

President Donald Trump on Thursday announced he will nominate longtime tax lawyer Charles Rettig to be the next commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.

Rettig, if confirmed by the Senate, would take over at a critical time for the agency tasked with implementing the most sweeping tax code overhaul in decades. He’s currently with the Beverly Hills, California-based firm Hochman, Salkin, Rettig, Toscher & Perez, PC, and is a vice-chairman for the taxation body of the American Bar Association.

Kentucky Colleges Get a Boost From Budget Deal
Host of tax code goodies tucked into bipartisan agreement

At least two colleges in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky would come out winners under the sweeping budget accord unveiled Wednesday.

For starters, the budget legislation would amend the brand new tax code overhaul to help out Kentucky’s Berea College, which would otherwise be subject to a new 1.4 percent tax on private college and university endowments. GOP leaders’ intent had been to exempt Berea and others that provide free tuition, but they ran into a sticky procedural thicket in the Senate that cost the Kentucky school in the final bill.

Some 2017 Tax Filers May Lose Key Tax Breaks
Tax ‘extenders’ package remains in limbo as spending talks drag on

With tax filing season getting underway this week, certain industries and taxpayers are still waiting for Congress to act on a slate of expired tax breaks, left out of last year’s sweeping tax code overhaul and now mired in a sticky debate over spending and immigration.

The result is that affected stakeholders, ranging from homeowners upside down on their mortgages to biodiesel fuel producers, can’t fully share in the $1.5 trillion tax cut’s largesse touted by President Donald Trump in Tuesday night’s State of the Union address as “tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses.”

Senate Passes Three-Week CR to Reopen Federal Government

The Senate voted 81-18 to pass a continuing resolution running through Feb. 8 on Monday afternoon, sending it back to the House as Day Three of the partial government shutdown dragged on.

The House is expected to clear the stopgap for President Donald Trump’s signature, ending the shutdown in time for federal workers to return to their offices Tuesday morning. A number of House Democrats appear likely to back the measure after opposing a previous version last week, and top Democrats predicted the CR would be passed this time.

IRS Underfunded in Wake of Tax Overhaul, Agency Advocate Says
Calls from confused taxpayers are likely to spike

The IRS needs more cash from Congress to implement the new Republican tax code overhaul, the agency’s public advocate said Wednesday.

A new report from National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson to lawmakers highlights the need for more funding for the IRS to update tax systems, train employees, draft and publish new tax forms, answer calls from confused taxpayers and more. The cash-strapped agency hasn’t yet determined how much money it will need to implement the new tax law, but a preliminary assessment last year put the additional cost at roughly $495 million over fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019, which begins Oct. 1.

Senate Passes GOP Tax Plan After Procedural Stumble
House must vote again on Wednesday


The Senate early Wednesday passed a final version of the GOP tax plan, leaving Republicans and President Donald Trump within striking distance of the most sweeping overhaul of the tax code in decades and their top policy goal for the year.

Landmark GOP Tax Bill Poised for Final Passage
Measure may pass through both chambers before Christmas

Republicans late Friday unveiled their final plan to overhaul the tax code, a sweeping measure that aims to lower taxes on businesses and individuals, open up parts of Alaska to oil drilling and roll back a key piece of the 2010 health care law.

The massive measure is likely to pass both chambers early next week. Momentum for the landmark package grew throughout the day Friday, capped off with a surprise announcement from Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., that he would back the final bill after opposing a previous version.

GOP Tax Bill Signed, Nearly Sealed and Delivered

Republican tax writers signed off Friday on a compromise plan to overhaul the tax code, bringing House and Senate negotiations to a close and setting up final votes on the legislation early next week.

The tax conference agreement was set to be released Friday at 5:30 p.m. Some key details are already known, like a proposed corporate tax rate of 21 percent; a top individual rate of 37 percent; and a 20 percent deduction for “pass-through” business income.

Six Things to Watch as Tax Overhaul Endgame Nears
Final votes could come just before lawmakers leave for the holidays

A number of sticking points emerged last week as Republican lawmakers began jockeying for their favorite parts of the House and Senate tax plans.

Top tax writers from each chamber will formally meet Wednesday at 2 p.m. to discuss their differences, but the real negotiations have already begun behind the scenes.

Treasury Sees Rosy Revenue Effects of GOP Tax Plans

The Treasury Department on Monday estimated the Senate Republican tax code overhaul would actually shrink annual deficits over 10 years, a sharp break from congressional revenue estimates showing the GOP tax plans could cost at least $1 trillion over a decade.

Treasury’s Office of Tax Policy released a one-page summary of its analysis of the Senate-passed legislation, which predicts the legislation would raise revenue by $300 billion over 10 years compared to current law.

Senate Agrees to Tax Bill Conference With House

The Senate voted Wednesday to officially begin conference negotiations with House members over a tax code overhaul, as Republicans race to send a finished bill to President Donald Trump’s desk before Christmas.

The 51-47 party-line vote was largely a formality. Behind-the-scenes talks have already begun since the Senate passed its version early Saturday morning, following House passage of its own bill before Thanksgiving.

Spiking Alternative Minimum Taxes a Priority for House GOP, Brady Says
‘Both of them are very costly and they add complexity’

Repealing the alternative minimum tax is a priority for House Republicans in conference negotiations with Senate tax writers, Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady said.

The Texas Republican said he spoke to many House GOP members Tuesday morning who “feel strongly” about permanently repealing the AMT for corporations and individual taxpayers. The House-passed tax bill would do so, while the Senate measure would keep the current corporate AMT and expand exemptions for the individual AMT rather than repeal it.

GOP Tax Package Enters Final Stretch With Senate Passage
After days of debate, the chamber passed the bill in the wee hours Saturday

The Senate early Saturday voted 51-49 to pass the GOP tax code overhaul, setting up the last stage of the tax debate: high-stakes talks between House and Senate Republicans to write a compromise measure they can place on President Donald Trump’s desk.

After more than 24 hours of deal-making and arm-twisting by Senate GOP leaders, a number of major policy changes were made to the tax bill in the form of a broad manager’s amendment from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., adopted by unanimous consent before the legislation was passed.

GOP Searching for New Tax Tweak After Senate Parliamentarian Guidance
Tax increase ‘trigger’ would violate Byrd rule, Perdue says

A violation of Senate budget rules sent Republicans searching for new solutions in their tax overhaul effort, Thursday night.

Sen. David Perdue said the GOP tax plan will not include any revenue “trigger” mechanism because it was found to violate Senate budget rules, but senators are instead discussing putting an automatic, future tax increase into the bill instead.

‘Pass-Through’ Changes Dog Senate GOP Tax Overhaul
Republican Ron Johson says plan not generous enough to pass-throughs

Trouble signs emerged Wednesday for the Republican tax overhaul effort, even as the Senate Finance Committee crept closer — slowly, and sometimes painfully — toward approving its bill later this week.

The top tax writers on each side forecast long hours still ahead. “Tomorrow, we are going to be here a while,” Sen. Ron Wyden, the Finance panel’s ranking member, said Wednesday.