- The Republican-controlled House passes a budget resolution.
- The vote was a narrow 219 to 206, with more than a dozen Republicans voting against the budget.
- The vote was the first concrete step toward enacting major tax reform later this year.
The House narrowly passed a $4.1 trillion budget on Thursday, formally initiating a process that Republicans hope will result in the enactment of major tax reform later this year.
The final tally was 219-206. More than a dozen Republicans voted with Democrats against the budget, objecting to elements of the spending package or to parts of the tax reform proposal.
The budget contains $1.1 trillion in non-entitlement spending, including nearly $622 billion on defense.
The Senate Budget Committee was expected to pass a similar budget later in the day, with a vote in the full Senate slated for the week of Oct. 16.
By passing a budget resolution through both GOP-controlled chambers, Republicans would trigger a legislative process known as reconciliation, during which they could pass a sweeping tax reform bill with a simple majority of 51 votes in the Senate, instead of the usual 60-vote requirement.
Democrats unanimously opposed the resolution, which House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., labeled "a vehicle for achieving partisan tax reform."
Yet even after the procedural hurdles are cleared, it is still far from certain that Republicans will be able to find enough common ground to actually pass the tax reform package introduced last week.
Almost immediately, disagreements emerged over how much to cut certain tax rates, which deductions could be eliminated, and whether the tax reform package would be revenue-neutral.