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Senate Republicans now confident they will pass tax reform bill

02 December, 2017, 00:36 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Washington DC. Republicans in the Senate hope to pass their legislation this week and work with the House of Representa

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, on Friday said he believes Republicans have the votes to pass the bill. Republican leaders said they were confident Collins would sign on eventually.

Senate Republicans delayed a final vote on an overhaul of the US tax code late Thursday amid furious, behind-the-scenes efforts to fine-tune the legislation to satisfy a small group of fiscal hawks whose support is needed to pass one of President Donald Trump's core campaign promises.

Daines reached an agreement with leadership to raise the amount of pass-through income business owners can deduct.

Corker, meanwhile, appeared subdued following the Cruz confrontation Thursday night and after other Republican senators lined up behind the bill without new provisions to shrink the deficit. Corker, along with Flake and Johnson, threatened to hold up the bill on Thursday after the Senate parliamentarian ruled that his "trigger" proposal ― which would have brought back certain taxes if the government failed to meet specific revenue targets ― could not be included in the reconciliation bill.

Flake said the "trigger" tax increases would raise about $350 billion over 10 years, though he didn't specify which taxes would go up. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) secured changes in the last 24 hours to a business deduction that would cost approximately $60 billion over the next decade, according to Daines.

Flake said he'd obtained a "firm commitment" from Republican leaders and the Trump administration to protect beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and changes to a budgeting gimmick that made the bill seem less expensive than it actually is. Flake said the tax increases would take affect after six years. Perhaps most significantly, nearly all of the Senate bill's tax cuts for individuals expire after seven years as a budget gimmick to reduce the bill's cost. Cruz, however, had argued that such a trigger should be two-sided; that is, if growth exceeded expectations, additional tax cuts should kick in.




Republicans eyeing a crucial final vote Friday on the $1.4 trillion Senate bill.

"Other countries have learned how to use their tax codes to entice USA businesses overseas, businesses around the globe, to their country - to move away from the United States to their countries' more competitive tax code", Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado said.

After Senate passage, lawmakers will try to reconcile the Senate bill with the House version in hopes of delivering a first major legislative accomplishment to Trump by Christmas.

Oklahoma's Lankford came aboard on Friday after having questioned whether tax revenues from economic growth would compensate for the expected increase in the national debt under the plan.

Both the House and Senate bills would almost double the standard deduction to around $12,000 for individuals and about $24,000 for married couples. That's far short of the $2 trillion promised by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The two had voted against the GOP bill to dismantle the Obama health care law this past summer. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. Unlike the House bill, the Senate bill ends property tax deductibility too. The current Senate bill completely eliminates the federal deduction for state and local taxes, a popular benefit in the Democratic-leaning states of New York, New Jersey, California and IL as well as many wealthy suburbs nationwide.

A key House Republican said that any stopgap spending to avert a government shutdown December 8 should keep the government open into January instead of rushing work on an omnibus spending bill in hopes of beating a Christmas deadline. Without the deduction, Collins said, it would be "very problematic for me" to vote for the bill.

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