“Deadlines” Can Help Move Process Forward
With passage in the U.S. Senate of a tax bill on Dec. 2, leaders at KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm, said the question now is no longer whether, but how and when Congress will move a bill to legislation.
“Not long ago, it seemed like we’d never get this far,” said Jeffrey C. LeSage, Americas Vice Chairman – Tax at KPMG. “Now, the next step for Congress is to find a way for both the House and the Senate to pass the same bill.”
“Although there are several procedural routes to get the House and Senate on the same page, our best guess is that Congressional Republicans will choose a formal conference,” said John Gimigliano, principal in charge, Federal Tax Legislative Services, KPMG, and a former senior tax counsel for the Committee on Ways and Means in the U.S. House of Representatives. “A conference is transparent, includes limited debate and allows for no amendments to its final report, which would most likely speed the process and keep it on track.”
While several deadlines – including December 15, December 24 and December 31 – have been proposed for Congress to get an approved bill to President Trump for his signature, there is no procedural reason why a conference and a vote couldn’t extend into 2018, according to KPMG.
“Like many of us, Congress seems to work best when there is a deadline,” said KPMG’s LeSage. “That’s why we believe Congressional Republican leadership will likely keep the pressure on for completion in 2017 and why what seemed implausible just a month ago now looks very possible, very soon,” he said.
KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (www.kpmg.com/us), is the independent U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s independent member firms have 189,000 professionals, including more than 9,000 partners, in 152 countries.