Senate Budget Committee Releases Budget Resolution

The Senate Budget Committee today (Friday, 9/29) released the text of a fiscal 2018 budget resolution that would launch the process for GOP tax cuts without Democratic votes.

The 89-page legislative text includes reconciliation instructions that allow the Senate Finance Committee to add up to $1.5 trillion to federal deficits over the next 10 years, reflecting the GOP decision to come up with offsets to reduce the net cost of their multi-trillion tax cuts to $1.5 trillion over 10 years.

The filibuster-proof reconciliation mechanism allows Republican-only tax legislation to advance with 50 votes in the Senate.  However, the filibuster-proof mechanism is constrained by the Byrd Rule which does not allow increases in the debt beyond the 10-year budget planning window.  Therefore, any tax cuts that are not paid for will have to expire at the end of 10 years.  See our explanation of Reconciliation and the Byrd Rule.

The budget also includes instructions for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to advance filibuster-proof legislation.

According to Politico, a vote is expected next week and the resolution is expected to be approved by the Committee.  If the resolution clears the full Senate, a common version will have to be negotiated with the House.  The House version includes controversial cuts of more than $200 billion in entitlement programs.

Here is a summary of the draft FY’18 budget resolution and summary tables.