Senate Begins "Marking Up" Tax Reform Plan As Post-Thanksgiving Vote Looms

The House is expected to vote on and, hopefully, pass its tax reform package on Thursday, but the Senate’s plan still hasn’t made it out of committee. Luckily for the Trump administration – which badly needs this legislative victory to stave off a donor mutiny -  this could soon change: To wit, the Finance Committee has started the process of ‘marking up’ the bill, that is, the process of adding amendments and making alterations. But the process still needs to run smoothly if McConnell is to meet his deadline of starting floor consideration the week after Thanksgiving.

Every day, the chances that the bill will pass by the administration’s year-end deadline appear to dim, something evidenced by the murmurs about trying to convince a Democrat or two to break ranks and support the Trump plan.

“The first day of the Senate Finance Committee hearing featured Republicans and Democrats exchanging jabs over the proposal to slash corporate taxes and reduce individual rates, while closing some tax breaks.


The House is expected to pass its version of the bill Thursday as Republicans seek to put a bill on President Trump’s desk by year’s end.


It’s a heavy lift, given the tight time frame and differences between the chamber’s bills, though so far Republicans are hitting their marks.


Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) sought to highlight aspects of the measure that Democrats have supported in the past, including its preservation of some individual tax breaks and changes to the international tax system.


“Long story short: Our proposed international reforms are not just a Republican wish list or some sort of favor to big companies,” he said. “They are, in fact, well within the bipartisan mainstream.”

And in one hint at which side may win out in the battle over the soul of tax reform, the JCT reported that the Senate's plan to rewrite the tax code would go much further than a competing House proposal toward making good on Republican promises to focus on the middle class, a new report shows, Politico reported.

The markup process will continue Tuesday, when lawmakers will question JCT officials and potentially begin to discuss amendments.

Lawmakers have submitted some 355 amendments, though not all of them will be considered.

A notable one from Orrin Hatch would make unspecified changes to ensure the bill doesn’t add to the deficit after 10 years. The legislation can’t increase the deficit outside of the budget window if Republicans want to pass it with only a simple majority.

Republicans also sought to rebut Democratic criticisms that they were shut out of the drafting process and that the bill benefits the rich.

However desperate, recruiting support from some Democrats could be key.

Interestingly, the Hill reports that no Republican senators have said they oppose the bill. And while that’s technically true, at least four Republicans have said they oppose the House plan, and have expressed misgivings about certain elements of the senate proposal. For example, John McCain has said he wouldn’t vote for any bill that didn’t have some measure of bipartisan support. And while Republicans are making a nominal effort to reach out to Democrats, nobody expects even Red State Dems like West Virginia’s Joe Manchin III to break ranks over tax reform.

Also, Sens. Jeff Flake and James Lankford have expressed concerns about how the legislation might bloat the debt, while Sens. Marco Rubio and Mike Lee are pushing for a bigger child tax credit.

There are many discrepancies between the House and Senate tax plans. But these are the two largest: That the Senate bill would delay the corporate tax rate cut until 2019, while the House bill has the cut take effect more immediately. And the Senate bill also repeals the full state and local tax deduction, while the House bill retains a property tax deduction of up to $10,000 to appease enough blue-state Republicans to pass the bill.

And so far, it appears both sides remain firmly committed to their respective versions of the bill. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady has made it clear that he will fight to keep the $10,000 property tax deduction in the final bill. Others in the Senate have sharply criticized the SALT deduction, arguing that it’s tantamount to a subsidy when the low-SALT states can’t deduct as much from an itemized return.

The Hill claims that Trump could complicate the process of passing the bill by injecting himself into the debate, like he did again Monday by proposing that the final legislation include repeal of ObamaCare’s individual insurance mandate and lower the top individual tax rate to 35%.

Case in point: Steven Mnuchin told the Wall Street Journal that the Trump administration wouldn’t support tax legislation with a corporate tax rate of more than 20% as part of any future compromise between the House and the Senate.

“It’s not going up,” he said. “I can tell you this is one of the things the president feels very strongly about.”

The House bill maintains a top individual tax rate of 39.6 percent, while the Senate bill lowers the top rate slightly to 38.5 percent. Neither bill repeals the individual mandate.

In another case of mixed messaging surrounding the contents of the bill, GOP lawmakers say they’re still considering including individual mandate repeal in the tax legislation, but Brady also said he doesn’t expect major changes to the House bill before it comes to the floor.

Trump badly needs a win on tax reform following the embarrassing death of the Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill in the Senate earlier this year. In an effort to rally the troops, president will address the House GOP conference Thursday morning, ahead of the chamber’s vote.

Now we wait to see if Paul Ryan is forced to reschedule the vote at the last minute, like he has done so many times already this year.


Jack McGriff Rick Cerone Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:24 Permalink

Indeed.  Tax Reform will motivate me never to earn wages again subject to the progressive income tax.  Not going to be a wage slave tax donkey to this vile nigger run Governement anymore that steals from whites and gives our hard earned capital to niggers, Jews, and 40 million illegals!!  Bet I'm not the only one.  I'll be selfishly hoarding my cash instead of reinvesting it into the economy, that's for sure.    

In reply to by Rick Cerone

Retired Guy MasterControl Tue, 11/14/2017 - 13:00 Permalink

Federal debt piling up at trillion dollar speed. Is this time for a cut? We live in an insane time. Congressmen say nothing about the county's bankrupt situation.The inheritance tax should not be repealed. Make the zero bracket $50 million but take everything over that. Otherwise the super rich are forever. The first generation to get rich is probably doing something useful but his children will be spoiled rich kids and probably in no way as useful as the father. To be rich each generation should have to earn it. 

In reply to by MasterControl

dasein211 Winston Churchill Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:37 Permalink

Ok. The private sector and the government are now one and the same. Military industrial complex and all. The government will never cut spending. Who do you think gets all of the government contracts? Tax cuts?! Please. All taxes are paid by middle upper class to fund the .01%’s yacht buying schemes. See, the middle class pay taxes so that the super upper class can get paid out of their government contracts. Anytime anyone wants to try to fix the scheme the economy “tanks”. You want to talk about welfare?! What the fuck do you think no bid contracts for companies are? I DARE CONGRESS TO REPEAL WELFARE FOR THE POOR!!!! And watch how nothing gets fixed because the true spending is still done by the military industrial complex. Defense budget is 55%!of spending. Look it up. More spending than all other government items combined. I WANT EVERYONE OFF WELFARE!! GOVERNMET CONTRACTORS INCLUDED!! AND BANKS. What the fuck Republicans?! DO IT!!

In reply to by Winston Churchill

Robert Trip Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:20 Permalink

The cocksuckers that have been in power for decades and whose soul purpose seems to be in lining their own pockets and screwing us are the same cocksuckers that will fuck us over on tax reform.The same faces and we actually expect or even "hope" for a different result?That pie in the sky form of thinking is called hysteria.Some of those fuckers are so old they don't even know where they are half the time.

youngman Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:19 Permalink

There are millions of dollars being donated to each one of these Senators coffers for the amendments they are adding.....bought and paid for 

Paul Kersey Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:20 Permalink

Paul Ryan's tax reform:

Further enriching the money changers while running up the future debt, by at least $1.7 trillion, on 99% of Americans and their children. Ryan, who has spent his entire adult life in "public service", is worth over $7 million. That's chump change compared to what he will be worth after he retires from "public service". Deep State punishes the hoi palloi while it rewards "public servants" like Ryan.

NickPeeMe Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:21 Permalink

Taxes are like the biggest thing I have to worry about. No need to worry about being bankrupted by a health care crisis even though I am insured. <sarc>

cat-foodcafe Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:24 Permalink

HAHAHAHA...if the "reformed" tax code isn't at least 70,000 pages, it just won't even get out of committee.....And people believe those clowns will actually do something......HAHAHAHAHAHA !!!!

Rex Andrus Tue, 11/14/2017 - 13:19 Permalink

Saint McConnell touched me inappropriately when I was his babysitter in 1903. The room grew dark. There was a chorus of demons over his crib and a voice said, Fuck the babysitter! Fuck 'er good! I had the feeling I was being sensuously fondled. Then his mother came in the room and it stopped. She threatened me not to tell anyone, ever. There were taxpayers with savings in incubators. He took the incubators and kicked the taxpayers to the curb to die.

Kina Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:33 Permalink

"Lawnakers" is total bullshit.They call themselves Lawmakers, when they are low level Gang Criminals working for their Mafia bosses.They call themselves Lawmakers but the public have higher respect cockroaches than Congress.Half the GOP, most of the Dems, most of the MSM are gangland criminals doing what the boss tells them.These people are the ultimate traitors. If you are still in the USA, then good luck.Because nothing is going to get better, EVEREverything will get worse and worse.Cash your chips while you can.

Money_for_Nothing Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:48 Permalink

Looks like no tax relief till 2019. At least a whole bunch of new Senators and Congressmen can add in their ideas. I expect Judge Moore to be among them. God has a sense of humor. Senator McCain, RIP. Just not funny.

shimmy Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:50 Permalink

Nothing will come from this other than yet another embarrassment for president pumpkin and the republicants. Pretty sad how they keep fucking up.

Money_for_Nothing Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:51 Permalink

We are in the darkest days of the Great Recession. The World masses in their ignorance prayed that the US quit buying 25% of what the World produced. God granted their prayer.

youngman Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:53 Permalink

Its suposed to be a reform...but with 355 new me that just makes it more difficult and time consuming...but that is how they like it....keep it difficult so you have to jump through all the hoops and pay you accountant more and more...

There Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:59 Permalink

The largest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in history.Once again Republican principles have been trumped by power.A desporate attempt to reward their donors again.

silverer Tue, 11/14/2017 - 09:02 Permalink

The big challenge, of course, is how to change it around so your donors don't get hit with the tax increase made to look like a tax decrease to the sheeple.

east of eden Tue, 11/14/2017 - 09:07 Permalink

The 'rich' are already getting theirs, i.e. the earned income tax credit is going to remain, which is an abomination.Under the present fiscal circumstances that the US faces, there should be a minimum 60% tax rate on incomes over 10M, no exceptions, and no deductions. When the deficit is illiminated and revenues are growing, then Congress can revisit the rate, but until then, pay up you fuckers, your greed and stupidity caused all this shit in the first place, and you're all lucky you aren't dead or in jail.

Quivering Lip Tue, 11/14/2017 - 09:27 Permalink

Congressional approval rating usually is between 10-20% and yet people keep voting. Whatever these "public servants" are handed you can be sure it won't benefit the majority of TAX payers.

JoseyWalesTheOutlaw Tue, 11/14/2017 - 09:34 Permalink

JMO but there is no way in hell the Deep State will allow Trump to have any success. Can't happen. McCain,Collins, and other globalist owned R's will prevent and make millions in the process. Maine is a GD joke at best. The Donald should order Mathis to slowdown any funds spent in that state for the military.  

shankster Tue, 11/14/2017 - 10:09 Permalink

Most of the voting public is stupid as Hell and that's why these turds are in office forever i.e. AZ, Ohio, Wisconsin, Maine, ill, FL, CA...