There are signs the most conservative members are driving the House tax bill

As Republicans seek to undermine any analysis of the bill, conservative House members display a show of force

Published December 5, 2017 8:01AM (EST)

Paul Ryan (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
Paul Ryan (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

The next step of the Republican tax cut bill is going to be an important one. Because even though the House passed its bill, and the Senate passed its bill, the conference committee could be where the bill is written.

On Monday, Congress' most conservative members — the House Freedom Caucus — asserted its authority when they withheld their votes to begin negotiations with the Senate. Their goal was simple: They wanted to push for a longer extension for end-of-year talks with Democrats on keeping the government open, according to the Associated Press. But if the Freedom Caucus isn't on board with any proposals, there's no shot that the bill will be passed.

Republicans have also continued to face harsh criticism over how they have proceeded with reporting on their tax bill. The Joint Committee on Taxation, which Republicans established as official scorekeepers in 2015 to provide honest assessments about how major legislation would impact federal revenue, concluded that the bill would add $1 trillion to the deficit, according to The New York Times. Instead of attempting to revise the bill so that it would be revenue neutral, Republicans have instead worked to undermine confidence in the Joint Committee on Taxation's conclusions, arguing that "the substance, timing and growth assumptions of J.C.T.’s ‘dynamic’ score are suspect."

"The bill that the Republicans are putting forth to go to conference is probably one of the worst bills in the history of the United States of America," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement on Tuesday. "It robs from the future. It rewards the rich, in terms of individuals and corporations, at the expense of tens of millions of working-class families in our country. It is really important for people to know how this legislation affects their lives. It affects our country’s future."

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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