Senate Approves Budget for Republican Tax Cuts

By Jaedeok Hong ‘19

On the night of October 19th, the Senate approved the $4 trillion Republican-backed budget in a major step for the GOP effort to enact tax cuts.

This will allow for the GOP to use a procedural maneuver to pass tax legislation through the Senate with 50 or more votes without the need of support from Democratic senators.

“Tonight, we completed the first step toward replacing our broken tax code… We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to replace a failing tax code that holds Americans back with one that actually works for them,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell following the 51-49 vote.

The tax cuts, estimated to increase the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years, have become Republicans’ essential policy objective after numerous failures in replacing Obamacare. It plans to reduce the number of allowed tax reductions, which it claims would allow it to lower taxes and simplify the tax code. The president also said he wants to lower the corporate tax rate, which currently sits at 35%.

The White House, in a statement issued Thursday night, said Trump “applauds the Senate” for passing the budget resolution and “taking an import step in advancing the Administration’s pro-growth and pro-jobs legislative agenda.” Furthermore, now that the bill is turned over to the House, Trump joined a conference call of House Republicans on Sunday afternoon to rally support for the budget bill. If the House GOP accepts the Senate budget plan, it will save as many as 10 to 12 legislative days, and that will pave the way for the ultimate goal: finalization of the deal before New Years.

However, there are only about 20 legislative days left in 2017, and given firm opposition by Democrats and the slim margin of approval, many are skeptical of whether the deal can be finalized this year. If the bill ultimately fails on its goal, we can expect greater divides and conflicts within the Republicans while the party can be faced with grave consequences during the 2018 midterm elections, and tax cuts may be the last issue on their minds.

Sources:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/trump-house-gop-pass-tax-cuts-or-lose-2018-n813111

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/trump-tax-plan-what-happens-next-n812566

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/senate-passes-4-trillion-budget-bill-paving-way-tax-reform-n812471

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/10/19/republicans-have-the-budget-votes-they-need-but-democrats-prepare-to-make-it-painful/?utm_term=.8a925bcc1c92

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/10/22/trump-to-try-to-rally-house-republicans-on-sunday-call-to-speed-up-tax-cuts/

 

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