Senate Scheduled to Vote Today on Tax Bill

By Susan Jones | December 1, 2017 | 6:53 AM EST

The Senate resumes debate on the Republican tax bill on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017. (Photo: C-SPAN)

(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Mitch McConnell's prediction that the Republican tax reform bill would pass the Senate either Thursday night or early Friday morning was wrong.

Senate Republicans hit a speed bump in the home stretch, when Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Jeff Flake of Arizona, both retiring and neither friendly with President Trump, raised concerns about how much the bill might add to the deficit.

McConnell said voting on the tax bill and various amendments will resume Friday morning at 11 a.m.

The Joint Committee on Taxation, in a report released on Thursday, estimated that the Senate tax reform plan would increase economic growth, as measured by GDP, by about 0.8 percent on average over the ten-year budget window. That increase in GDP would increase tax revenues, the report said, but only by around $408 billion, which is not enough to cover the $1.4 trillion estimated cost of the tax-cut plan.

Sen. Corker previously has said he will not vote for a plan that does not pay for itself, and because of his concerns, the vote was delayed until today.

(The Senate parliamentarian on Thursday refused to allow a so-called "trigger" mechanism favored by Corker that would kick in if deficits incurred by the tax cuts run higher than expected.)

It's not clear how Republicans might change the bill to address Corker's concerns, but reducing the size of some tax cuts is said to be a possibility.

Other Republicans also plan to amend the bill to allow some state and local tax deductions (Sen. Susan Collins); and to give small businesses a larger tax cut (Sen. Ron Johnson).

President Trump tweeted on Friday morning: "Republicans Senators are working hard to pass the biggest Tax Cuts in the history of our Country. The Bill is getting better and better. This is a once in a generation chance. Obstructionist Dems trying to block because they think it is too good and will not be given the credit!"

And in a second tweet, the president said Democrats oppose the bill because they're afraid tax cuts will be good for the economy: " Republicans Senators are working hard to pass the biggest Tax Cuts in the history of our Country. The Bill is getting better and better. This is a once in a generation chance. Obstructionist Dems trying to block because they think it is too good and will not be given the credit!"


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