Joe Williams

Marco Rubio, Mike Lee Support for Tax Bill in Jeopardy

Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, are withholding their support for the GOP tax bill in an attempt to bolster the child tax credit, a change that may be difficult amidst opposition from House Republicans.

The duo is hoping to make the credit fully refundable. The two senators, backed by top White House adviser Ivanka Trump, had previously succeeded in increasing the credit to $2,000 per child in the Senate-passed bill.

Tax Bill Set to Move at Warp Speed to Trump’s Desk
Some hurdles still remain, but Republicans feel confident they have the votes

Don’t blink, because you might miss Congress passing a historic overhaul of the U.S. tax code.

House and Senate Republicans say they are nearing completion on a sweeping bill that would dramatically reduce the corporate tax rate, lower the top individual tax rate, nearly double the standard deduction, bolster the child tax credit and remove some breaks enjoyed by many Americans.

White House Takes Aim at Polling, Media in Tax Talking Points
“‘Push polls’ misrepresent our policies”

The White House plans to take aim at polls it believes are manipulating public opinion of the GOP tax bill, according to talking points obtained by Roll Call.

The list — which largely includes broad summary points Republican leaders have long cited to support their tax legislation — also attacks the media’s coverage of what the administration appears to believe are skewed polls.

Senate, House Reach Tax Overhaul Agreement
Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch confirms

Senate and House Republicans have reached a broad agreement on a major overhaul of the U.S. tax code, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch said Wednesday.

As he was leaving for the White House, the Senate Finance Chairman confirmed the House and Senate have reached a deal on overhauling the tax code.

Pass-Through Tax Agreement Reached Between House and Senate GOP
20 percent rate enough to win over Johnson

Updated 12:52 p.m. | House and Senate Republicans have agreed to set the deduction for pass-through business income at 20 percent, two sources confirmed to Roll Call.

Members said discussions are still fluid and nothing is final until both chambers sign-off.

A Tax Conference Committee Meeting Mostly For Show
Parameters are clear for final Republican push on tax bill

Nothing against the members of the House and Senate attending Wednesday’s inaugural meeting of the conference committee finalizing the tax code overhaul, but it’s mostly for show and unlikely to be must-see television.

That’s because, with the arguable exception of the farm bill, open meetings of conference committees are not where the deals get done, despite the talking points from top negotiators.

Senate Republicans Prepare Tax Counteroffer
House sent over proposal Monday evening

Senate Republicans are preparing to send the House what they hope will be the final version of the GOP tax bill.

While the two chambers now agree on several areas on which their bills once differed, senators said discussions are still fluid.

Analysis: McConnell Enters Year-End Sprint With Options Limited
Promises made to GOP senators could come back to haunt him

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is hoping to close out 2018 with a bang and silence the skeptics who just a few short months ago were ramping up calls for his ouster following a brutal defeat on the Republican effort to overturn the 2010 health care law.

But after creating an intricate web of promises to get the GOP tax legislation past the Senate, the Kentucky Republican must now juggle the difficult task of keeping those commitments.

The Unkindest Cut: How to Pay for Tax Overhaul Sweeteners
Hundreds of billions of dollars needed to pay for sought-after changes

As the House and Senate prepare for a conference committee on the Republican tax overhaul, the two chambers face the challenge of reconciling stark differences, and where to find billions of dollars they may need to smooth things over. 

Among the most significant discrepancies are the treatments of pass-through businesses, the estate tax and the corporate alternative minimum tax. House Republicans are also considering a provision to further scale back the proposed trimming of the state and local tax deduction.

House GOP Plans to Lobby Leaders on Key Tax Provisions
Estate tax and corporate rate addressed in letters

House Republicans are planning to pressure leaders from both chambers to maintain two key provisions in the House tax measure during conference negotiations, according to draft letters obtained by Roll Call.

The lobbying comes as the House and Senate try to bridge gaps between their two bills. While many provisions are similar, the differences in the two measures are stark and could require substantial revenue to reconcile.

Partial Repeal of Corporate Alternative Minimum Tax an Option, Thune Says
‘There are different ways you could structure a repeal’

Lowering the alternative minimum tax rate for corporations in the Senate’s bill could be one way to address concerns among the business community, Republican Conference Chairman John Thune said.

“There are different ways you could structure a repeal — or a partial repeal,” the South Dakota Republican said Wednesday. “If you adjust the rate, take the rate down. And so it’s all scalable.”

Corker Still Trying to Find ‘Yes’ on Tax Overhaul

Sen. Bob Corker said Tuesday he is still working with the White House to try to revise the GOP tax bill in a way that could bring him on board.

The Tennessee Republican — who voted against the tax legislation on Saturday morning, citing concerns over the potential impact on the deficit — was the only Republican defection.

Durbin: Cornyn and Grassley Undermining DACA Deal
No bipartisan deal currently exists to undermine, Grassley says

Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin said two Republican senators are trying to undermine a bipartisan deal to address the pending expiration of a program impacting immigrants who come to the country as children.

The Illinois Democrat said he is working with GOP members on a compromise solution to avoid the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that President Donald Trump set into motion earlier this year.

Senators Unclear on Plan to Fund Government Days Before Funding Expires
Republican senators say second continuing resolution into January possible

Democratic Senators Pressure House Counterparts on Tax Overhaul
29 GOP House members represent states with no Republican senator

Democratic senators from Maryland, New York, California and New Jersey are pressuring their Republican counterparts in the House to reject the GOP tax bill if it comes back up for a vote in the chamber.

The group, in a letter sent Monday, highlighted provisions in both the House and Senate versions of the tax bill that would allow individuals to deduct up to $10,000 in property taxes but would otherwise repeal the popular state and local tax deduction.

Senate Republicans Secure Votes for Tax Overhaul

Updated 1:03 p.m. | Senate Republicans appear to have the votes necessary to approve their tax code overhaul.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., came out of a meeting with other Republicans and announced they had enough support. Shortly after, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona announced he would support the GOP tax bill, adding the cushion GOP leaders were seeking after Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Steve Daines of Montana earlier Friday said they had received enough assurances that their concerns would be addressed in a conference committee.

Senate GOP Keeps Working for Tax Overhaul Votes

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn on Friday said the GOP has the votes to pass a tax overhaul, but added they were still working to bring Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee onboard.

“We haven’t given up,” the Texas Republican said. His comments indicate the GOP has 50 votes, and can call in Vice President Mike Pence to break a tie, but would prefer to get all 52 Republicans on board. 

GOP Searching for New Tax Tweak After Senate Parliamentarian Guidance
Tax increase ‘trigger’ would violate Byrd rule, Perdue says

A violation of Senate budget rules sent Republicans searching for new solutions in their tax overhaul effort, Thursday night.

Sen. David Perdue said the GOP tax plan will not include any revenue “trigger” mechanism because it was found to violate Senate budget rules, but senators are instead discussing putting an automatic, future tax increase into the bill instead.

Ethics Committee Opens Investigation Into Franken Allegations

The Senate Ethics Committee opened a preliminary inquiry Thursday into allegations of sexual misconduct against Sen. Al Franken.

“While the committee does not generally comment on pending matters or matters that may come before it, in this instance, the committee’s publicly confirming that it has opened a preliminary inquiry into Senator Franken’s alleged misconduct,” panel leaders said in an announcement.

Senate GOP Gets Signoff on Still Emerging Tax Overhaul
McCain, Collins provide running room

Senate Republican leaders continue to get support for their tax overhaul package, even though the details of what the chamber will vote on are still being worked out and despite the unlikelihood of significant changes before a potential conference with the House. 

Three Republican senators continue to call for a higher corporate tax rate to offset greater benefits for individuals in the tax measure, but GOP leaders are casting doubts on whether any such changes would be made prior to a conference.