The Agenda -> What to expect in the Senate on tax reform

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The Agenda -> What to expect in the Senate on tax reform

The Heritage Foundation
Nov. 21, 2017
The House and Senate are out of session this week, but with a vote on the Senate tax reform bill right around the corner, Washington is still hard at work. Here is your weekly insight. A repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate has been added to the Senate tax reform bill; Heritage experts explain why it’s a bold but necessary move. Also, it appears that the reign of one of the world’s worst rulers, Robert Mugabe, is finally over. Heritage predicted this over a year ago and knows what the U.S. should do to prepare for the transition of leadership. Plus, the Senate has confirmed a former Heritage chief of staff to become Army secretary. Take notes, we have your conservative policy solutions right here. —Michelle Cordero, Managing Editor,
What to expect in the Senate on tax reform. 
The House passed its version of a tax reform bill last week and the Senate has advanced its own bill. Starting next week, when both chambers return from Thanksgiving break, debate will resume. As Congress moves ahead with tax reform, lawmakers will have to reconcile whether repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate is included in the final package. Marie Fishpaw, director of Heritage’s Domestic Policy Studies, says it’s a bold but necessary move. “Repealing the individual mandate is a great place to begin the necessary work of undoing Obamacare regulatory burdens and tax increases that have driven up costs and reduced plan value and availability.” A vote on the Senate bill is expected as soon as next week and then the long slog of working out the differences in the House and Senate versions in a conference committee will begin. Read why repealing the Obamacare mandate lets Americans keep more of their money.
One of the world’s worst rulers is on his way out.
The military of Zimbabwe has deposed President Robert Mugabe, who has misruled his southern African country since it achieved independence in 1980. Mugabe’s own party says it backs impeachment after he ignored a call for his resignation. Proceedings could begin as soon as today when parliament meets. Joshua Meservey, a senior policy analyst in Heritage’s Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy, predicted this would happen a year ago, noting 93-year-old Mugabe’s increasingly frail health loosened his grip on power and precipitated the internecine competition. Read Meservey’s report on how the U.S. should prepare for the coming transition.
Former Heritage chief of staff to become Army secretary.
The Senate voted 89-6 last week to confirm Mark Esper, former Heritage Foundation chief of staff, as President Trump’s secretary of the Army. “Mark was my indispensable right hand, both at Heritage, and as Heritage’s board travelled internationally promoting freedom in post-communist Eastern Europe and throughout Asia,” said Ed Feulner, president of The Heritage Foundation. The House and Senate also approved a $700 billion defense spending package last week, a move that will alleviate some of the readiness issues plaguing the U.S. military. Continuing budget challenges is one of the things that Esper will take on in his new position. Read more about Esper and his new position in the Pentagon.


On a special edition of Mass Ave, Arthur Milikh, associate director of Heritage’s B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics, discusses the importance of Thanksgiving in our civil society and its beginnings. Plus, Joshua Meservey, a senior policy analyst in Heritage’s Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy, breaks down the current situation in Zimbabwe and what we can expect to see in the coming weeks. Listen to the podcast.
On MondayLee Edwards, a distinguished fellow in conservative thought in Heritage’s B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics, recalled incredible moments in conservative history as told in his newly released memoir, “Just Right: A Life in Pursuit of Liberty.” Watch the event.
Last week Heritage hosted its 2017 Antipoverty Forum. Guests like Reps. Garret Graves, R-La.; Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; Jason T. Smith, R-Mo.; and more discussed policies that empower people to overcome dependence on welfare.Watch the event.


Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow in Heritage’s Asian Studies Center, detailed the latest news on North Korea on MSNBC’s “Live with Katy Tur and on Fox Business’ “Making Money with Charles Payne.”
Nile Gardiner, director of Heritage’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom and Bernard and Barbara Lomas fellow, analyzed President Trump’s Asia trip as well as his foreign policy agenda on Fox News’ “Fox News @ Night.” Watch the interview.
Ed Feulner, president of The Heritage Foundation, talked about the impact that tax reform will have on states with high incomes tax rates on Fox Business’ “Varney & Co.” Watch the interview.
Bryan Riley, the Jay Van Andel senior policy analyst in Heritage’s Center for International Trade and Economics, discussed the current state of NAFTA renegotiations and what action the Trump administration should take moving forward on CNBC AsiaWatch the interview.
Robin Simcox, Heritage’s Margaret Thatcher fellow, talked about terrorism threats we should be watching for over the holiday season on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.” Watch the interview.
Romina Boccia, deputy director of Heritage’s Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies and Grover M. Hermann research fellow, debated tax reform legislation on MSNBC’s “AM Joy.” Watch the interview.
Ed Feulner, president of The Heritage Foundation, wrote about how much money the U.S. military really needs in The Washington TimesRead the op-ed.


Eliminating the state and local tax deduction would provide roughly $1.3 trillion in new revenue for the U.S. government.
Have a question? Email us at [email protected].

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