Senate passes budget, paving way for tax reform debate

Elias Hubbard
October 21, 2017

The lower chamber could pass the blueprint as is early as next week since the urgency to move on to tax reform is felt by most of the Republican caucus.

The budget plan, which passed on a near party-line vote late Thursday, includes rules that will allow Republicans to get tax legislation through the Senate without Democratic votes and without fear of a Democratic filibuster.

"This now allows for the passage of large scale Tax Cuts (and Reform), which will be the biggest in the history of our country!"

"I'm pretty certain not a single one of them thought the budget resolution was flawless, but they all found a way to move what Senator Paul says is an important priority", Bradley said, referring to other GOP senators.

House Republicans praised the Senate bill. The GOP holds a 52-48 majority in the upper chamber, but that didn't equate to success in a series of Obamacare repeal votes over the summer. On Friday morning, Speaker Ryan said this would in fact be included in the framework, but he declined to reveal the rate.

Democrats remained united in their opposition to the budget bill and are unlikely to support the Republicans' tax plan, arguing it would benefit the wealthy, raise taxes on some middle-class Americans and widen the federal deficit.

While the overall themes of the tax reform package have been outlined by White House officials and GOP lawmakers, the fine details have yet to be ironed out.

Now, is this a good reason to vote against the budget resolution?

No question, US tax code needs simplification and reform. There is still disagreement among the GOP about whether to eliminate state and local tax (SALT) deductions, which would hurt higher-income earners in highly taxed states like California, New York and CT.

On Thursday, the Republican-controlled Senate approved a $4 trillion budget through the Senate in a major step forward for President Donald Trump's ambitious promise of "massive tax cuts and reform".

The Democrats were excluded from the drafting of the tax blueprint, and they continue to demand that any tax-cutting plan not add to the mounting $20 trillion national debt.

The government said Friday the budget deficit rose to $666 billion in the just-completed fiscal year. The administration has said it would deliver up to $6 trillion in tax cuts to businesses and individuals.

The first means cutting the number of tax brackets from seven to three and eliminating most itemized deductions.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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