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Senate moves closer to passing Republican tax reform package

03 December 2017

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) says he'll vote against Senate Republicans' tax plan, saying the $1 trillion it's projected to add to the deficit is too much for him to swallow.

Republican leaders engaged in eleventh-hour negotiations with GOP holdout senators to meet their demands and secure their support for the bill that's a political imperative for Trump and the party.

Democrats are blasting Republicans arguing they are trying to rush the legislation through the Senate without giving lawmakers a chance to read it. Perhaps most significantly, nearly all of the Senate bill's tax cuts for individuals expire after seven years as a budget gimmick to reduce the bill's cost. They also increased a one-time tax on profits USA -based corporations are holding overseas and would require firms to keep paying the business version of the alternative minimum tax. The measure must be reconciled with a version the House passed last month.

Republicans failed in their efforts to repeal the Obamacare healthcare law over the summer and Mr Trump's presidency has been hit by White House in-fighting and by a federal investigation into possible collusion a year ago between his election campaign team and Russian officials.

The GOP has already secured support from two other key votes: Sens.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., flanked by, Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon, left, and Sen. "I wish we could have done more for working families by making that credit refundable, but we did lay the groundwork for future pro-family tax reform and I am confident we will get there soon".

In a legislative battle that moved so fast a final draft of the bill was unavailable to the public until just hours before the vote, Democrats slammed the proposed tax cuts as a give-away to businesses and the rich financed with billions of dollars in taxpayer debt.

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain R-Ariz. arrives for votes on Capitol Hill in Washington Monday evening Nov. 27 2017. President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans are scrambling to change a Republican tax bill in an effort to win over hold

Murkowski said she supports the tax bill now that it would allow oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Those groups said provisions that would prevent federal filers from deducting state and local taxes, and eventual tax hikes on middle-class families if the sunset cuts are not extended would cause property values to drop by 10 percent and eliminate an incentive for homebuyers.

"We think we're going to get it done by the end of the year", she said.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., initially was the first Republican senator to oppose the tax reform package - but Friday, Johnson's spokesman told Fox News he flipped to a "yes" vote. Trump and other Republicans insist that the corporate tax rate must be reduced from 35 percent to 20 percent. The deduction is for business owners who report their business income on their individual tax returns.

"Out of 52 Republican senators, 51 voted and we ended up doing it and we didn't need our great vice president to break the tie", Trump said Saturday.

The apparent momentum for a tax cut in the Senate promises to benefit the wealthy and corporations at the expense of lower-income taxpayers and the government's bottom line.

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Senate moves closer to passing Republican tax reform package