The Senate tax bill is headed for a marathon debate this week with the aim to hold a floor vote as early as Thursday. Should it pass, Republican leaders will have to hammer out a compromise between different provisions in the House and Senate bills. Here are the latest developments, updated throughout the day:
Senate Plans Tax Vote Amid Trump Sales Pitch
The Senate may vote on its tax-cut legislation as early as Thursday as President Donald Trump signaled he will be more personally involved in the final push.
With several Republicans publicly uncommitted to supporting the bill, Trump is scheduled to have lunch Monday at the White House with members of the Senate Finance Committee and Vice President Mike Pence. Attendees will include Republicans Orrin Hatch of Utah, the panel’s chairman; Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania; Rob Portman of Ohio; Tim Scott of South Carolina; and John Cornyn of Texas, according to the White House.
“Senate Republicans will hopefully come through for all of us. The Tax Cut Bill is getting better and better,” Trump wrote on Twitter Sunday night. The president is also expected to head up to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to press Senate Republicans in person.
One potentially significant complication is that senators haven’t yet received an official estimate about the larger effects that the package of tax cuts for businesses and individuals would have on the U.S. economy.
The Congressional Budget Office reported on Sunday that Congress’s chief scorekeeper for tax legislation hasn’t been able to provide a quick-turn “macroeconomic analysis” of the Senate tax bill.
The lack of any official finding complicates arguments by the legislation’s backers, who say its package of tax cuts — estimated to cost more than $1.4 trillion over a decade — would actually pay for itself over time by generating economic growth. As Senate leaders hasten to gather and hold 50 votes from their thin, 52-seat majority, some lawmakers have already expressed reservations about the deficit impact.
The absence of any official “dynamic score” also reflects the unusually rapid pace that GOP leaders have chosen in their push to approve the measure. If they vote Thursday, it will be just 11 days after the actual legislation first appeared — during a week when both chambers were on recess.
Yet in a year in which Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress and the White House, many party members have said there’s pressure to deliver on at least one major legislative achievement — the sort that has so far eluded Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.