How the Byrd Rule Might Have Killed the 2017 Tax Bill . . . and Why It Didn’t
During debate on the 2017 tax bill that was once slated to become the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” the number of stories referencing an arcane budget law known as the “Byrd rule” skyrocketed in publications as diverse as the New York Times and the weekly trade magazine, Tax Notes.1 Many of the references, however, dealt with minor effects of the rule, such as its role in removing the bill’s short title from the final legislation. This article briefly describes a much more important and little-known aspect of this little-known rule that might have—and perhaps should have—killed the bill altogether.