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

by Sophie Craig December 3, 2017, 0:44
GOP Leaders Claim They've Sewn Up 50 Votes For Tax Bill

Republicans pushed a almost $1.5 trillion tax bill through the Senate early Saturday after a burst of eleventh-hour horse trading, as a party starved all year for a major legislative triumph took a giant step toward giving President Donald Trump one of his top priorities by Christmas. If Corker were the lone GOP dissenter, the bill would pass 51-49.

Collins told reporters Wednesday that she has a commitment from Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that both Alexander-Murray and Collins-Nelson bills are "must-pass" bills this year.

No Democrats are expected to vote for the tax bill. It would bring the first major overhaul of the US tax system in three decades.

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.

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.

Their support is key because Senate Republicans hold a slim 52-48 majority in the Senate, meaning they can only afford to lose two votes, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaker.

John Cornyn, the Senate's second-ranking Republican, according to The Washington Post.

The bill has come under sharp criticism from Catholics for its considerable tax breaks for corporations and policies that would disproportionately affect low-income families. Tax reform would be different, promised McConnell and other GOP leaders. The amendment would raise how much these businesses could deduct off the top of their tax bill, from the 17.4 percent now in the Senate bill to 23 percent.

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Murkowski said Thursday the provision was tweaked to comply.

Other issues under discussion included if the 20 percent corporate tax rate might be raised, the extent of the child-tax credit, and the tax rate for small businesses.

"We think we're going to get it done by the end of the year", she said.

"Because the bill was given to lobbyists to read and change before senators saw it, and because the bill was given to us on a few hours" notice and has not been read fully or considered fully by a single senator, I move we adjourn until Monday so we can first read and then clean up this very bad piece of legislation, ' Schumer said.

But with Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Flake now supporting the bill, McConnell is expressing confidence it will pass on Friday night.

Getting the needed 50 votes was not a done deal as of Friday morning.

Daines reached an agreement with leadership to raise the amount of pass-through income business owners can deduct. They had rounds of closed-door meetings and were drafting the revised bill text up to the time they assembled on the Senate floor in advance of the vote.


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