GOP Leaders Claim They've Sewn Up 50 Votes For Tax Bill

Oscar Cross
December 3, 2017

After months of negotiations and false starts, Republicans finally seem prepared to pass their most sweeping rewrite of the US tax code in three decades.

And even if Democrats went along with these measures as a way to help stabilize Obamacare, opening up spending bills to such legislation is going to inspire all sorts of demands from Republicans as well as Democrats under circumstances where one false step could shut down the government, possibly in the middle of the holidays.

President Donald Trump tweeted congratulations to Sen.

In a late night rewrite of the bill, the text of which has not yet seen the light of day, leadership won over a couple of other holdouts by making the tax break for so-called pass-through corporations more generous-up from 17.4 percent to 23.

The House bill, meanwhile, would tax the value of tuition waivers for graduate students employed as teaching and research assistants, dramatically hiking taxes on a modestly compensated workforce.

The Senate passed a massive tax reform bill overnight on Saturday.

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 3 Republican in the Senate, called the trigger "a work in progress" Thursday afternoon.

Following the U.S. Senate's vote to move forward with a major overhaul of the tax system, the U.S. bishops labeled both the House and Senate bills as "fundamentally flawed" and urged congress to make major changes during the reconciliation process. Even an official projection of a $1 trillion, 10-year flood of deeper budget deficits couldn't dissuade GOP senators from rallying behind the bill. "We can quibble about how much growth, but what counts is the economy growing". Bob Corker, R-Tenn., being the only Republican to vote. The tax cuts for individuals would expire in 2026 while the corporate tax cuts would be permanent.

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott a Republican defended the rushed process to pass the tax package
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott a Republican defended the rushed process to pass the tax package

Under the bill, the corporate tax rate would be cut from 35 percent to 20 percent.

Republicans failed in their efforts to repeal the Obamacare healthcare law over the summer and Mr Trump's presidency has been hit by White House in-fighting and by a federal investigation into possible collusion a year ago between his election campaign team and Russian officials.

Democrats derided the bill as a GOP gift to its wealthy and business backers at the expense of lower-earning people.

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.

He has been adamant for months that the Republican bill not balloon the federal debt.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., initially was the first Republican senator to oppose the tax reform package - but Friday, Johnson's spokesman told Fox News he flipped to a "yes" vote.

The changes added almost $300 billion to the tax bill's costs. The bill also repeals the Obamacare individual mandate, which could leave up to 13 million Americans without health insurance by 2027, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

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