On December 20, 2017, Congress passed a sweeping bill to rewrite the tax code – dramatically cutting taxes for wealthy individuals and corporations while significantly increasing the budget deficit. The legislation was largely crafted behind closed doors without careful analysis – at one point, a version of the bill was edited with handwritten notes in the margin – and even some members of Congress who supported the bill have claimed they don’t know what it will really do.
After the first round of negotiations on the bill began in the summer of 2017, American Oversight launched an investigation to uncover the truth behind the talking points that were coming out of the White House and Congress. In October, we sued the Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to force the release of their communications with Congress regarding tax reform.
When the final legislation was passed in December, we submitted a third round of Freedom of Information Act requests to both agencies seeking their communications with Congress and outside groups. These FOIAs covered the time period between our initial requests and the final passage of the bill, and should shed light on how key tax breaks and loopholes were inserted into the legislation.