On Monday, Speaker Ryan named the Republican lawmakers who will serve on the House-Senate conference committee for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. That means that this group of nine lawmakers will iron out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill, before reporting out a final version to vote on in both chambers. So who are these nine individuals?
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) will chair the conference committee. Chairman Brady has been our faithful leader throughout this process, successfully quarterbacking the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act through the House in November.
The other four Ways and Means members negotiating the full Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the Senate amendment are: Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), and Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD).
Devin Nunes and Peter Roskam are both senior members of Ways and Means. Rep. Nunes previously served as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Trade, while Rep. Roskam currently serves as the chair of the Subcommittee on Tax Policy. Their expertise will undoubtedly benefit the conference version of the bill.
In addition to serving on Ways and Means, Diane Black currently serves as Chairman of the Budget Committee. Passing a budget in October was an important to moving the tax reform train forward, and the leadership of Chairman Black was, and remains, critical.
Kristi Noem ran for Congress because as a small business owner, she saw firsthand how government can get in the way of small businesses and entrepreneurs who wish to create jobs and grow the economy.
As members of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Representatives Rob Bishop (R-UT) and Don Young (R-AK) join the conference committee to negotiate the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) Senate amendment. This amendment allows for drilling in sections of ANWR believed to house significant amounts of oil as a method to offset tax cuts proposed in the bill. Rep. Bishop currently serves as Chairman of Natural Resources and Rep. Young serves as Chairman Emeritus. As Alaska’s House member at-large, Rep. Young has been leading efforts to develop our nation’s natural resources, particularly in the Arctic, since 1973.
As members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Representatives Fred Upton (R-MI) and John Shimkus (R-IL) join the conference committee to negotiate the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) amendment. This amendment authorizes the sale of oil from our SPR as a way to offset the cost of tax cuts in the proposed bill. Both representatives are senior Energy and Commerce members, with Rep. Upton serving as chairman for six years. Rep. Shimkus currently serves as chair of the Environment Subcommittee.
Doing something as monumental as tax reform is not an easy task. The House and Senate share a common goal: cut taxes, grow wages, and create jobs for hardworking Americans. We look forward to sending this historic legislation to the president’s desk.