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Hatch, Lee celebrate 'historic' passage of GOP tax bill
03 December 2017, 12:42 | Ivan Casey
President Trump incorrectly labeled the plan the “Biggest Tax Bill and Tax Cuts in history just passed in the Senate.”
In the two letters, sent to the House and Senate respectively, the USA bishops outlined six moral principles that they believe the bill must consider: care for the poor, the strengthening of families, maintaining the progressivity of the tax code, raising adequate revenue for the common good, avoiding cuts to poverty programs to finance tax reform, and incentivizing charitable giving and development.
Because the House passed a different tax-slashing bill, the probable effect of Senate approval - provided the House doesn't pass the Senate's version - would be a conference committee in which lawmakers from both chambers fashion a compromise that could include elements of either bill. Above, the Capitol on Thursday.
As drafted, the Senate bill would cut the US corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent after a one-year delay and reduce the tax burden on businesses and individuals, while ending many tax breaks. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) - wanted to craft a trigger mechanism to automatically increase taxes if the overhaul doesn't raise projected revenues via a growing economy.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mc Connell shrugged off polls that find little public enthusiasm for the measure
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Under the bill, the corporate tax rate would be cut from 35 percent to 20 percent.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who on Thursday laid out several serious issues she had with the bill and changes she is demanding, has not yet confirmed she is on board, telling reporters she would announce her position later on Thursday.
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"I do believe this is a revenue-neutral bill", McConnell said, adding that he's "confident it will be revenue-producing". Though Republicans have framed the legislation as a tax cut for middle-class Americans, the bill will actually raise taxes on millions of working Americans, while benefiting the country's wealthiest the most.
"The Republican tax bill has made a mockery of the Democratic process", Schumer said.
Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., backed the package Wednesday after securing an increase in the deduction for business income from 17.4 percent to 20 percent.
The GOP has already secured support from two other key votes: Sens.
The House bill, meanwhile, would tax the value of tuition waivers for graduate students employed as teaching and research assistants, dramatically hiking taxes on a modestly compensated workforce. The party views passage as crucial to retaining its House and Senate majorities in next year's elections. Trump administration officials and many Republicans have insisted the bill would pay for itself by stimulating the economy. Reform could mean your taxes are going up. The deduction is for business owners who report their business income on their individual tax returns.
Early on Friday morning, Trump praised congressional Republicans' work and blamed Democrats for trying to derail the bill, tweeting: "The Bill is getting better and better". The tax cuts for individuals would expire in 2026 while the corporate tax cuts would be permanent. That change would match the House bill.
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