H.R. 1: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
This was a vote to pass H.R. 1 in the House.
H.R. 1 is the House Republican tax reform bill intended to reduce corporate and individual income taxes. However, it would increase the federal deficit by $1.7 trillion over the next decade. The Republicans hope the deficit will be partially offset by repealing the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act individual mandate. They also said the trickle-down economics it represents would generate more jobs, more income for Americans and therefore more tax revenue to help pay down the deficit. It includes the biggest corporate tax cut in U.S. history, dropping the average rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. The Republican sponsors say lowering corporate taxes would free up money for companies to invest more in their businesses and to hire additional employees. They sought to keep the corporate revenue in the United States with a territorial tax system. In other words, corporations would be taxed based on their domestic income only instead of their worldwide income. Other provisions would eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax, which prevents companies making more than $7.5 million every three years from reducing their tax rate below a certain level. The bill also would eliminate the domestic manufacturing deduction and other business credits. Critics of the bill say that although it lowers taxes for most families initially, the tax breaks disappear after a few years, leaving middle-income Americans with the same or higher tax bills. Provisions designed to reduce taxes for most Americans include doubling the standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples. The number of tax brackets would be reduced from seven to four.
H.R. 2331: Connected Government Act
This was a vote to pass H.R. 2331 in the House.
H.R. 2331 passed by a wide margin, which reflects the fact it was not controversial. It requires federal agencies that create or update websites used by the public to ensure they are easily accessible through mobile devices, such as IPhones. A mobile friendly website is defined under the bill as one with web pages that can be easily navigated on smartphones, tablets or similar mobile devices.
H.R. 2810: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018
This was a vote to pass H.R. 2810 in the House.
This bill represented the authorization stage of the two-step federal budget process for national defense spending. The other step is appropriations, which sets overall spending limits. Authorization bills like H.R. 2810 direct how federal funds should be used. The bill authorizes funds for military activities and construction and sets military personnel limits for fiscal 2018. The bill authorizes $613.8 billion in base funding, including a $28.5 billion increase over the president’s budget for essential readiness recovery. It authorizes an additional $10 billion in the Overseas Contingency Operations fund (OCO) for base requirements and $64.6 billion for contingency operations. When $7.5 billion for mandatory defense spending is factored in, H.R. 2810 brings fiscal 2018 defense spending to $695.9 billion. Unique provisions of this year’s bill would include reforms of retirement systems, the military health care system, the commissary benefit and major bureaucratic overhauls. The bill calls for additional oversight of service contracts. It would require that some commercial goods be purchased through traditional retailers instead of military suppliers to help bring down costs.
H.R. 2874: 21st Century Flood Reform Act
This was a vote to pass H.R. 2874 in the House.
H.R. 2874 reauthorizes the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years, encourages more private market competition and institutes reforms to help policyholders. Key provisions of the bill are supposed to:
Other provisions would drop a prohibition on coverage for homes worth more than $1 million and delay the implementation of an exemption for commercial properties subject to mandatory coverage requirements.
H.R. 3071: Federal Acquisition Savings Act of 2017
This was a vote to pass H.R. 3071 in the House.
H.R. 3071 revises the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) by directing agencies to consider equipment rental to cut costs before acquiring a piece of equipment. The bill also requires the Government Accountability Office to submit a report to Congress two years after enactment on agency decisions to obtain equipment by purchase, lease or rental. Passage of the bill follows a 2012 Government Accountability Office report saying federal agencies annually spent more than $200 billion purchasing or leasing equipment. Purchasing accounted for almost all of the spending. Current rules encourage agencies to assess the cost effectiveness of purchasing equipment versus leasing but these rules do not include a requirement to consider renting. The GAO said the spending bill could be significantly reduced through leasing. The report used the example of state and local governments that have effectively used equipment rental options.