Republicans edge closer to victory in battle for $1.5trn tax cuts

Patty Murray and Lamar Alexander during committee hearing

U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Friday Republicans had enough votes to pass a tax overhaul bill in the Senate. They weighed scaling back the tax cuts in the legislation to secure crucial support. Changes being discussed included rolling back some of the tax cuts after six years to appease deficit hawks - notably Flake and Sen. The projection left the votes of several GOP lawmakers in doubt, including Corker and Flake.

Another faction to be reckoned with: senators supporting millions of businesses whose owners report the firm's profits on their individual tax returns. Daines and Johnson signed on Friday morning. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) - wanted to craft a trigger mechanism to automatically increase taxes if the overhaul doesn't raise projected revenues via a growing economy.

The scramble to alter the bill came after the Senate's parliamentarian ruled that automatic "triggers" created to guard against big deficits would violate Senate rules. Whether that is enough to bring her on board remains uncertain, but if Flake and every other Senate Republican save for Sen. That would give Republicans another chance to undo a health care law that withstood repeated repeal attempts while exacerbating the bill's consequences for those of modest means.

The Senate debated the legislation late into Thursday and adjourned, putting off any votes until Friday morning.

In a dramatic turn Thursday, Democrats forced a vote on whether to return the measure to the Senate Finance Committee so it could be rewritten to ensure smaller deficits. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Steve Daines of Montana.

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

A pair of pro-family Republicans offered a plan to pare back a proposed cut in corporate tax rates to make an increase in the child tax credit more generous, while work also intensified on a controversial plan to trigger automatic tax increases if the plan produces higher than hoped-for deficits. The plan would also increase a one-time tax on profits that USA -based corporations are holding overseas and require corporations to continue paying the business version of the alternative minimum tax.

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Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer called the plan a "ticking time bomb of middle class tax hikes". It would have to be merged with the Senate bill, if it is approved, before any final measure could go to Trump for his signature.

"I sought assurance and I was given assurance that I will be at the table" when Senate-House bargainers write a compromise version of the bill, Johnson said of talks he had with GOP leaders Thursday night.

The JCT's "dynamic scoring" of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Thursday revealed the bill will still add $1 trillion to the federal deficit, even accounting for growth.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who also played a role in the failure of the Obamacare rollback, told reporters she was still not committed to the bill. That's far short of the $2 trillion promised by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. It was unclear if a decisive vote on the bill would occur then.

Senators were still grappling with several issues, including a provision to add a deduction for local property taxes. "But I think we've ended up with a better bill", Senator Rob Portman said. Susan Collins of ME said it was a "fair assumption" that she was likelier to support the bill after saying Trump agreed to make property taxes up to $10,000 deductible instead of eliminating that break entirely. The House approved its own tax bill on November 16.

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.

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