Republican tax bill breaks Senate rules, forcing a revote

The House of Representatives will need to revote on the final version of the Republican tax bill, after it was determined that certain provisions in that bill violate legislative rules.

The Senate Parliamentarian determined that three provisions in the House version of the Republican tax bill violated the Byrd rule, which is part of the regulations governing the legislature.

Among the provisions in violation was a proposal to allow 529 savings accounts to be used for home-schooling expenses. Also under review was part of the criteria used to determine whether endowments of private universities are subject to the bill’s excise tax component.

The provisions found to be in violation of the Byrd Rule can be removed from the conference report absent 60 votes to waive the rules.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise even anticipated the parliamentarian’s ruling in a memo to GOP lawmakers.

“Members are advised that we expect Senate Democrats to insist on a Byrd Point of Order on the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 1, which is likely to be sustained,” Scalise’s office said. “As such, Members are further advised that an additional procedural vote on the Motion to Concur is expected tomorrow morning, which will clear the bill for President Trump’s signature.”

In other words, the GOP pushed forward a bill that did not meet the standards of the U.S. government.

Democratic Senators Bernie Sanders — the ranking Democrat on the Budget Committee — and Ron Wyden, who is the ranking member of the Finance Committee, issued a joint statement regarding the Parliamentarian’s decision:

“In the mad dash to provide tax breaks for their billionaire campaign contributors, our Republican colleagues forgot to comply with the rules of the Senate. We applaud the parliamentarian for determining that three provisions in this disastrous bill are in violation of the Byrd rule. It is our intention to raise a point of order to remove these provisions from the conference report and require the House to vote on this bill again. Instead of providing tax breaks to the wealthiest people and most profitable corporations, we need to rebuild the disappearing middle class.”

The House had initially passed their final tax plan earlier on Tuesday, and the Senate was slated to do the same Tuesday night. Now, the final vote is expected to take place on Wednesday.