With the U.S. Senate’s approval of tax reform legislation early Saturday morning, both the House and the Senate have now passed their own versions of a tax reform bill. The next step is for the House and Senate to reconcile the differences between their respective bills. This could involve a formal House-Senate conference, informal negotiations, or even the House simply accepting the Senate’s version of the tax reform bill.
House Speaker Paul Ryan today announced the House conferees for a House-Senate conference committee on the tax reform bill:
Ways and Means Committee
For the purposes of provisions outside the jurisdiction of the Ways and Means Committee, the conferees are:
Natural Resources Committee
A House-Senate formal conference is only one approach to resolving the differences between the two bills. This approach has its own limitations because there are special rules in the Senate as to what items could be included in legislation resulting from a conference agreement.
A report from the Congressional Research Services (CRS) examines the Senate rules on restricting the authority of conferees to include matters, in their report, not passed by the House or Senate before the appointment of the conference committee.
The CRS report—Senate Rules Restricting the Content of Conference Reports [PDF 547 KB]—examines Senate rules when provisions are “airdropped” into the Conference Report.
According to the CRS report, Senate rules preclude conference agreements from including policy provisions that were not sufficiently related to either the House or Senate version of the legislation as sent to the conference committee.
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