Republicans are overhauling the nation’s tax code on the fly.
Senate Republicans don’t have a tax bill yet. But they plan to pass one Friday.
The majority is short on votes — nearly suffering a humiliating loss on a procedural vote Thursday — and desperately rewriting its tax overhaul mere hours before they plan to put it on the Senate floor for passage.
What’s being discussed? You could ask a half dozen senators and get a half dozen answers. Senators learned Thursday that a “trigger” proposal by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) to have automatic tax hikes if the federal deficit increases too quickly would not fly under the Senate’s “budget reconciliation” rules. That threw the whole plan into chaos.
Republicans are now scrambling for some way to reduce the bill’s $1 trillion price tag (even accounting for economic growth) and assuage deficit hawks like Corker and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) without losing any other senators. As they do, they will make decisions that would redirect hundreds of billions of dollars in the US economy over the next 10 years and then pass them hours later without any public hearing or expert input.
“It’s not the most elegant process. I would say that,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), another vote that could be in doubt, told Vox Thursday.
Yet Senate Republicans plan to convene Friday and try to pass a plan. The centerpiece is still the same for now: A huge corporate tax cut and an individual tax overhaul that funnels most of its benefits to the wealthiest Americans. But the last-minute decisions that senators make will have far-reaching consequences for the US economy for years.
What we don’t know about the Senate tax bill right now
Everything is open for negotiation as Senate Republicans search for their elusive 50th vote.
The big trouble Thursday came when the Read More Here