Tax Reform Passage: The Fail-Safe Option

For the moment, passage of the tax reform bill looks probable, with 52 votes from all GOP senators. But two remain hospitalized, and one cannot rule out all contingencies, ranging from transport difficulties to last minute changes of mind.

As it turns out, there is, and has been, an unspoken fail-safe option. My friend Norman Rogers thought it up, and queried Congressman Dave Brat about it. Here is the correspondence:

On Dec 14, 2017, at 12:11 PM, Norman Rogers wrote:


If the conference bill is defeated in the Senate, could the previous bill passed

in the Senate be passed by the house and sent to the president?

Norm Rogers


From: Dave Brat

Subject: Re: Question:

Date: December 14, 2017 at 9:40:26 AM PST

To: Norman Rogers

Yes we would have to take the exact Senate piece and some of us were willing to do that early on because we thought it might get even worse with time but right now everything is looking pretty good we’re moving in a positive direction with the exception of the health of a few senators and that could be the only problem left but a real problem

Thanks much


I find it odd that in all the drama over obtaining the last few GOP senators’ support, nobody mentioned the fail-safe option. Perhaps, because it makes for less drama. In any event, we should all sleep easier, knowing that some form of tax relief is assured.

If you experience technical problems, please write to