Senate Republicans don’t need Democrats to pass their tax bill. And they’ve been acting like it.
Senate Republicans inched closer to the 51 votes needed to pass their sweeping tax bill on Tuesday. Using the process of budget reconciliation, Republicans don’t need Democratic support to pass tax reform. And they’ve been acting like it.
Throughout the tax bill process, red-state Democrats like West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, Missouri’s Claire McCaskill, and Indiana’s Joe Donnelly — who are all up for reelection next year in states Trump won in 2016 — have repeatedly tried to reach across the aisle to Republicans on common tax goals, including cutting middle-class and corporate tax rates (albeit at a lower rate than Republicans are proposing). And while the Trump White House has made overtures to these Democrats on taxes, they’ve been frozen out by their Republican colleagues.
“I’ve had no visits in my office; I’ve had no calls from Republican senators,” McCaskill told Vox on Tuesday. “I’ve actually talked to Republican senators about working with them, and it’s very clear to me that Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan decided they were going to do this the way they wanted to do it, which meant just with Republican votes.”
Instead, Senate Republicans have been fixated on whipping the votes in their own party. With a very thin margin of error and lots of competing demands on tax reform, Senate leadership and the president were busy cutting deals with key holdouts this week.
Details are still shifting on the final bill, but so far, the sweeping overhaul of taxes would reduce rates for corporations and individuals (although individual tax cuts would eventually expire). It also has dramatic implications for American health care, repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, which would effectively Read More Here