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  • Washington Highlights

    House and Senate to go to Conference on Tax Reform

    Matthew Shick, Sr. Director, Gov't Relations & Regulatory Affairs

    While committee staff works to resolve the differences between the House and Senate passed tax bills, party leadership in both the House and Senate have announced their selections for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Conference Committee.

    The AAMC co-signed a Dec. 6 community letter of organizations impacted by the changes to private activity bonds (PABs) advocating that the conference committee maintain the tax exemption of PABs. The AAMC is also finalizing a letter that will be sent to conferees outlining our specific concerns.

    The AAMC continues to advocate that conferees:

    • Reject the new excise tax based on investment income of private colleges and universities,
    • Reject the repeal of advance refunding bonds,
    • Reject the repeal of the tax exemption of PABs,
    • Reject the repeal of various student benefits, including the Lifetime Learning Credit, the Student Loan Interest Deduction, the qualified tuition reduction, and educational assistance,
    • Reject the excise tax on compensation for certain employees at tax-exempt organizations, and
    • Reject the repeal of the individual mandate as included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

    House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) Dec. 6 announced the House Republicans selected to negotiate the final package on tax reform. These members include:

    From the House Committee on Ways and Means,

    • Chair Kevin Brady (R-Texas) who will chair the entire conference committee,
    • Devin Nunes (R-Calif.),
    • Peter Roskam (R-Ill.),
    • Diane Black (R-Tenn.), and 
    • Kristi Noem (R-S.D.)

    From the House Committee on Natural Resources,

    • Chair Rob Bishop (R-Utah.), and
    • Don Young (R-Alaska)
    • From the House Energy and Commerce Committee,
    • Fred Upton (R-Mich.), and
    • John Shimkus (R-Ill.)

    Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Dec. 5 appointed the following members to the conference committee:

    • From the House Committee on Ways and Means,
    • Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-Mass.),
    • Sander Levin (D-Mich.), and
    • Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas)
    • From the House Committee on Natural Resources,
    • Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.)
    • From the House Committee on Energy and Commerce
    • Kathy Castor (D-Fla.)

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Dec. 6 announced Senate Republican conferees:

    • Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), chair of the Senate Finance Committee,
    • Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), chair of the Senate Budget Committee,
    • Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee,
    • John Cornyn (R-Texas),
    • John Thune (R-S.D.)
    • Rob Portman (R-Ohio)
    • Tim Scott (R-S.C.)
    • Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)

    At the time of this publication, Senate Democrats had not yet named their conferees.

    The two chambers will now meet to reconcile the differences between the House- and Senate-passed versions of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (see Washington Highlights, Dec. 1).  A date for the conference committee to meet has not yet been scheduled.