House lawmakers approved their version of a budget resolution (H. Con. Res. 71) for the 2018 fiscal year yesterday on a 219-206 vote, taking the first legislative step towards creating a comprehensive tax reform package through the budget reconciliation process. The next step will be for the Senate to do the same, which should happen in short order after the Senate Budget Committee approved their budget resolution (text) in a markup yesterday. Assuming the full Senate approves the resolution — which only requires a simple majority — the two chambers will then reconcile their respective versions in conference. In order for Republicans to meet their ambitious goal of getting tax reform legislation to the president’s desk before the end of the year, the conferencing and re-approval process will likely be done at a breakneck pace.
The Senate has left Washington for a weeklong recess in honor of Columbus Day. A final confirmation vote on Callista Gingrich to be Ambassador to the Holy See will be the first action for the chamber when they return on Oct. 16.