As Republicans rush to pass tax reform with only Republican votes, lawmakers must also address a number of other critical issues before the end of the year.
The most immediate issue is passage of a funding measure to prevent a government shutdown. The current temporary funding bill runs through Dec. 8. House Republicans are scheduled to meet today to discuss a two-week extension to keep the government open until Dec. 22. Complicating efforts to fund the government are a variety of legislative priorities that Congress must resolve before reaching a deal on a broader spending package for the rest of fiscal 2018.
First, a decision must be made on whether to raise spending levels above the caps required by the 2011 Budget Control Act (Public Law 112-25). Republicans are demanding increased defense spending limits, while democrats are seeking increased domestic spending limits.
Second, some Democrats say that a permanent legal status for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children must be part of a final 2017 spending package. While President Trump is seeking to fund the wall along the Mexican border. Republicans will need some Democrats for any spending deal since passage will take 60 votes in the Senate. In the House, leaders also may have to rely on some Democrats if conservatives oppose any agreement that boosts domestic spending
Finally, the Senate tax bill includes a provision eliminating the health-care law’s mandate that requires individuals buy health insurance. As a cost of her vote in favor of the Senate tax reform package, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is insisting that the stopgap spending bill contain a plan to stabilize the Obamacare insurance market before Congress passes a tax overhaul.
As Congress continues to consider tax reform, NFIP and many other policy issues important to the multifamily industry in the waning days of 2017, NMHC/NAA will continue to advocate for the apartment industry’s legislative and regulatory priorities.