The U.S. Senate is unveiling its version of tax reform bill as the House Ways and Means Committee members continue to mark up their version of the bill released last week.
Republican senators are taking note of the reaction to the House tax plan from talk of tax brackets to what deductions are at stake. Senator Rob Portman, R - Ohio, who sits on the Finance Committee, told CBN News while the overall framework of the two bills will be very similar, there are some differences.
"We both have a similar structure which is to provide middle class tax relief, to help encourage more jobs and investment, and to level the playing field internationally," Portman said.
One potential difference between the two bills: the Senate may push to delay lowering the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% to ease the impact on the national deficit.
"We don't know yet. My sense is it would be better to do things quickly rather than waiting and also not to phase it out but rather to keep it in place permanently," Portman explained.
The Ohio senator says his biggest push is simplification.
"Doubling the standard deduction really helps. This means that people up to $24,000 a family are going to be able to have a standard deduction," he said. "They don't have to go through the process of having to figure out all the itemized deductions and so on. This is why people will be able to do their return on one page."
The Senate bill also plans to preserve the child adoption tax credit. Although it was in question, the credit will now remain in the House tax bill as well. Facing a repeal of the adoption tax credit in the House version of the bill many conservative and pro-life groups spoke out, prompting lawmakers to release an amendment to save the tax credit for adoptive families.
U.S. Representative Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, first introduced the adoption credit in 1990 and eventually saw it eventually enacted six years later. He says keeping the credit in the House bill is important, because 74,000 people benefited from it last year alone.
Smith says the adoption credit is meant to make adoption more practical for the average family.
"It is targeted to people who might find it very hard without the credit to put together the economic piece to go ahead with their plans to adopt a child," he explained. "We need to encourage adoption, it is a loving option to get kids in homes."
Meanwhile, a House vote stopped a Democratic attempt to take the repeal of the Johnson Amendment out of the tax plan, but that fight is far from over.
If Republicans hope to put a tax reform bill on the president's desk by the end of the year, they'll have to pass identical bills in both chambers.