So, I know you are probably busy and the news is coming at you so fast you can’t keep up and are getting to that overwhelmed oh fuck it point. I get it. I’ve had the free time to really follow what’s going on, so thought it might be good to share something as concise as possible.
Yes, the Senate passed the tax bill at 1:51am EST Saturday.
But that doesn’t mean it goes straight to Trump to sign. This whole monstrosity of a bill is being done through a budget reconciliation process so they only needed 51 votes in the Senate. The Senate passed their own version of the bill.
Which means, since it is different than what the House passed, it has to be reconciled. That is done with joint committees from both the House and the Senate. They are tasked with haggling over the differences and rewriting those sections – take it out, reword, juggle wording, etc.
Once they agree on the changes, the new hybrid bill has to be voted on again by both the House and Senate. So if there were specific sections of the bill stuck in to “buy” a vote (Arctic Wildlife Refuge drilling for Murkowski in AK for instance) that get removed in committee, that means they may have lost a vote. This is hypothetical and I have no idea what the House will do with that section. I have seen a letter from House Republicans against the provision though.
However, and a big however, there is one more option. The House could vote straight up or down on the Senate version. If they passed that, it would go straight to Trump. So far, Speaker Paul Ryan has said that isn’t going to happen. You may take his word more than I do.
What can you still do then? Keep calling or writing to your representatives. Tell your friends to do the same. The House must vote one more time either way, and a strong chance the Senate will have to vote again.
It is not over.