The House and Senate are back in session for the next few weeks with a long list of things to accomplish before the end of the year. Short-term items include a government funding bill as well as reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program, both of which are set to expire December 8. Congress must also pass a FY2018 budget but first an agreement must be reached on budget limits for defense and non-defense spending. A short-term spending bill might kick the can down the road later in December, but these are big issues that need to be sorted out before the end of the year.
And while Congress has until March 6, 2018 to enact permanent legislation for DACA recipients, I will continue to push for this legislation to be included in an end-of-year package. Another important item is reauthorizing full funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Community Health Centers (CHCs). Many Colorado families are at risk of losing critical health care coverage if these programs aren’t funded. This has never been a partisan issue in the past, and it shouldn’t be now.
Lastly, Republicans remain adamant that they pass a tax package by the end of the year. Because the House and Senate passed different versions of the tax package, the legislation now goes to conference committee to sort out the differences. Then the House and Senate will have to both vote on the final legislation before it can pass.
The 1986 tax reform effort took two years to complete after dozens of committee hearings and markups. If Congress is serious about passing tax reform, we should take the time to get it right, rather than rushing it through.