By Quin Hillyer at the Washington Examiner;

The House of Representatives should accept the Senate-passed tax-reform bill as a bird in the hand and pass it exactly as is.

No conference committee. No amendments. No need to send a revised bill back to the Senate, and thus no risk of seeing some hard-won Senate votes fall away, dooming tax reform entirely.

Yes, the House bill is better in some ways than the Senate bill. But the Senate bill is better in some ways – indeed, in more important ways – than the House bill. The Senate version is a thoroughly acceptable piece of legislation that would markedly improve the tax code and the economy. As usual, there is no need to make the perfect the enemy of the good. It’s time to bank the progress and move on.

(Then, if some tweaks really are needed, try the tweaks later as smaller, discrete, stand-alone bills. One of Congress’ major problems is its habit of trying to do too much at once, thus creating mammoth, complicated legislation with too many moving parts. The post-legislation, small-bill tweaking process would be a nice tonic for that procedural illness.)

First, let’s understand the precarious nature of the Senate’s passage of its version of tax reform.

The victory was hard won, by a 51-49 vote, with no Democrats in favor and with at least four other Republicans (Sens. Ron Johnson, Steve Daines, Jeff Flake, and Susan Collins) barely on board. Two more Republican defections could kill it. In addition, there remains a real chance that liberal Democrat Doug Jones could win the special election in Alabama on December 12 and, if the conference committee process takes a little too long, replace Republican Luther Strange before the Senate gets to vote on final passage.

Then there’s Sen. John McCain, always a somewhat mercurial wild card – and also, alas, suffering from ill health that (Lord forbid) could suddenly require his absence from the Senate floor for treatment or recuperation therefrom.

It makes absolutely no sense to risk another Senate vote. The whole edifice of reform could be undermined, and toppled, by the slightest change in its dimensions or its building materials.

Second, let’s understand that the Senate bill is a rather good bill. …

[Read the whole column here.]



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