The Hill: ObamaCare vote throws curve into tax reform

This story first appeared in the May 6, 2017 edition of The Hill and quotes alliantgroup National Managing Director Dean Zerbe.

The House’s passage of legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare has thrown a new curve into Republicans’ efforts to overhaul the tax code.

The vote, which came just a week after the White House rolled out its tax reform plan, took much of official Washington by surprise. A previous attempt to muscle through the legislation had failed in March.

Experts are mixed on what the sudden progress on ObamaCare repeal means for tax reform. While some said that House Republicans’ ability to coalesce around a bill bodes well for passage of tax legislation, others warned the Senate could get bogged down on healthcare, stalling the agenda.

“This may be one step forward, one step back,” said Sage Eastman, a lobbyist at Mehlman Castagnetti and a former senior counselor on the House Ways and Means Committee.

Republicans plan to pass both healthcare and tax legislation through a process known as “budget reconciliation” so that the bills can advance without Democratic support.

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sb-d-zerbe[1]Dean Zerbe is alliantgroup’s National Managing Director based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Prior to joining alliantgroup, Zerbe was Senior Counsel and Tax Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance. He worked closely with then-Chairman of the Finance Committee, Senator Charles Grassley, on tax legislation. During his tenure on the Finance Committee, Zerbe was intimately involved with nearly every major piece of tax legislation that was signed into law, including the 2001 and 2003 tax reconciliation bills, the JOBS bill in 2004 (corporate tax reform) and the Pension Protection Act. Zerbe is a frequent speaker and author on the outlook for short-term and long-term changes in tax policy, as well as ways accounting firms can help their clients lower their tax bill.