Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Act with no name

Here is the start of the 2017 tax bill, taken from the Conference Report:

Sec 11000. SHORT TITLE, ETC.
(a) SHORT TITLE.-This title may be cited as the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act."
(b) AMENDMENT OF 1986 CODE.-Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this title an amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of ... a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to a section or other provision of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

Why am I bothering you with this? Just bear with me here for a moment.

Here is the start of the 2017 tax bill, taken from the final enrolled act:

Sec 11000. SHORT TITLE, ETC.
(a) AMENDMENT OF 1986 CODE.-Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this title an amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of ... a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to a section or other provision of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

There is no section 11000(b) any more, and old (b) has of course become (a).

So what happened in the interim? They took out the bill's title! It has no name now! (But there are still later statutory references to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, even though this has ceased to be a defined term.)

I specifically looked for this omission, when I got an electronic copy of the final bill, because I had heard that the Senate parliamentarian made them strike the name as a non-germane amendment.

This means absolutely nothing substantively, but perhaps I can be forgiven for finding it hilarious. They were in such a heedless rush that the bill ended up without a name! Of course, it doesn't deserve a name.

10 comments:

John Ramirez said...

I move that we start calling it the "Tax Cut Cut Cut Act". Wow, this is going to make it hard to write about the bill.

'G said...

I just call it the "Tax Deform Act".

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