Thursday night, the Senate passed its fiscal 2018 budget on a 51-49 vote. This action now paves the way for the tax overhaul process to begin.

A significant difference between the Senate-passed bill and the one sent over by the House is the amount the national debut can be raised by tax cuts. The Senate version would allow debt to increase by $1.5 trillion, while the House took steps to not add to the national deficit. The Indiana Chamber is on record as advocating for as revenue-neutral a budget as possible.

The lone Republican “no” vote was from Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who disagreed with adding to our country’s debt and said he was taking a stand for fiscal responsibility.

A successful amendment offered by Senate Budget Chairman Mike Enzi of Wyoming modified the budget resolution and incorporated the necessary steps to expedite the tax overhaul work in the House. All Republicans voted for the amendment, which was approved 52-48.

Senator Todd Young offered his reaction on Twitter: “(I) voted tonight for a measure that brings us one step closer to #taxreform for Hoosier families, small businesses and manufacturers.”

Details of the Senate-passed budget are available here.

The House could take up the legislation and adopt it as soon as next week.

Earlier in the budget process on Thursday, the Senate agreed with Indiana’s Joe Donnelly and unanimously adopted his End Outsourcing Amendment, which affirms that companies that ship American jobs to foreign countries shouldn’t get tax breaks.

On the Senate floor, Donnelly stated: “American companies that ship jobs to foreign countries can still claim massive tax breaks. That’s wrong and we should claw back incentives and prohibit companies from receiving tax breaks for outsourcing jobs.

“My End Outsourcing Amendment is common sense for taxpayers – supporting companies that invest in American workers, not those shipping jobs to foreign countries.”

While such a budget resolution is non-binding, it does serve as a blueprint and statement of congressional priorities.