McConnell Makes Tax Bill an Election Issue, Warns Dems Are Committed to Repeal in 2018

By Susan Jones | December 20, 2017 | 6:06 AM EST

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks after passage of the Republican tax bill. (Photo: C-SPAN screen grab)

( -  “I’m a little surprised the Democrats all decided (that) voting against middle class tax relief and making American businesses more competitive was a smart vote,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters after the Senate passed the Republican tax reform bill 51-48 early Wednesday morning.

“And that’s an argument we’re more than happy to have going into the fall election.”

The bill makes the new 21-percent tax rate for corporations permanent, but tax cuts for individuals and small business owners expire in eight years.


“With regard to the termination dates, let me tell you what terminates this tax cut,” McConnell said. “The Democrats taking the Congress next November would turn this into a very short tax bill.”

McConnell noted that “every single Democrat” voted against the tax bill: “They’re all committed to repealing it and raising taxes on the American people. That’s what’s at stake in the fall of 2018.”

One month ago, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said the “strange rules of the Senate” explain why individual tax cuts expire, while corporate tax rates do not:

Mulvaney said at the time that in order to pass the bill under Senate reconciliation rules, “certain proposals can only have certain economic impact. And one of the ways to game the system is to make things expire. The Bush tax cuts back in early 2000 did the same thing. They supposedly would expire after nine years.

“What we tell folks is this,” Mulvaney continued. “If it's good policy, it will become permanent. If it's bad policy, it will become temporary. That's just the way that it is. So this is done more to force the, shoehorn the bill into the rules than because we think it's good policy.”

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