Early Saturday morning (Dec. 2) the U.S. Senate voted 51 to 49 along partisan lines to pass its version of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1). The plan, as passed, could add one trillion dollars to the federal debt over the next decade, which many education leaders fear could trigger calls for a significant reduction in spending for federal programs, including those that support K-12 education. Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives, passed its own version of the tax reform legislation. Continue reading U.S. Senate Passes Tax Code Reform Legislation
The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of a mammoth federal tax reform plan yesterday on what was essentially a party-line vote. The final tally on H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), was 227 to 205, with all but 13 Republicans voting in favor of the measure and all Democrats voting against it.
The massive overhaul package, which would slash taxes for businesses and corporations and makes numerous tax changes for individuals, would also increase the national debt by up to $1.5 trillion over 10 years.
The House Committee on Ways and Means convened this afternoon in a “markup” session to begin consideration of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), a tax reform package that would slash corporate income tax rate and some individual income tax rates and raise the standard deduction, offsetting the cost by eliminating some cherished itemized deductions. The legislation is the first draft of a bill for tax reform and is expected to be under consideration by the Committee throughout this week with many possible amendments likely to be taken up. (A markup session is the name given to when a Congressional committee or subcommittee meets to debate, amend or rewrite a bill. The committee has the option of either accepting or rejecting the final version of the bill that comes out of the markup session.)
Several of bill’s provisions would likely impact school districts in a negative way. These include:
Last night (Oct. 19), the U.S. Senate approved a federal fiscal year 2018 budget resolution, a key procedural step in setting the stage for the Senate, which is narrowly controlled by Republicans, to pass a federal income tax reform bill along party lines.
The budget resolution passed by a 51-49 vote, with all Republicans except Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky voting in favor and all Democrats opposing.
The U.S. House of Representatives, which is currently in recess until Oct. 23, has already passed a budget resolution of its own. The Senate’s action, passed as an amendment to the earlier House-passed budge resolution (H.Con. Res. 71), continues momentum toward debate and passage of tax reform.
The final measure will provide instructions for fiscal year 2018 appropriations for education programs for education programs, as well as for tax reform and health care reform. Moreover, the budget resolution will determine the scope of most legislative priorities for the current session of Congress.
Tomorrow morning (Wednesday, May 17), the House Committee on Education and the Workforce has scheduled a committee markup session to review and vote on H.R. 2353, the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act.” The Committee meeting can be viewed online via live webcast at 10:00 am (EDT)/9:00 am (CDT).
Last week Congress avoided a possible shutdown of the federal government when it approved and sent to President Trump a consolidated appropriations bill (H.R. 244) to fund public education and other federal programs throughout the remainder of federal Fiscal Year 2017, which runs through Sept. 30. The so-called “omnibus” bill (H.R. 244) was passed by the House of Representatives on a vote of 309-118 and by the U.S. Senate on a vote of 79-18. It was signed into law by President Trump on May 5.
Overall, in the education area, the FY 2017 omnibus bill, makes net cuts of about $1.1 billion, but provides a more than a $1 billion increase compared with comparable 2016 funding levels for Title I grants for disadvantaged students, special education, Impact Aid, and student support programs under Title IV (ESSA). The text of the bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education is available here. Continue reading President Signs Spending Bill to Fund Federal Government Thru Sept. 30
After a postponement of Thursday’s (3/23) scheduled vote, the U.S. House of Representatives may take up its bill to repeal and replace sections of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also called Obamacare, later today (3/24).
The bill includes numerous changes to the ACA, but most significantly for schools, the bill modifies how the federal government will fund the Medicaid program (also known as Medical Assistance or MA), including how the federal government funds their share of state Medicaid Costs. The bill would enact a per capita cap on federal Medicaid payments to states, thus jeopardizing the Medicaid funding schools receive to provide healthcare services to students, including students with disabilities. Continue reading Federal Healthcare Changes Could Impact Students and Schools