Senators nearing deal on budget’s tax provisions

Senators nearing deal on budget’s tax provisions
© Greg Nash
Members of the Senate Budget Committee say they are close to an agreement on a budget deal that would pave the way for tax reform, which could include a provision for a $1.5 trillion tax cut over the course of a decade.
 
“We’ll have something for you a little later today,” Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyNewly declassified memos detail extent of improper Obama-era NSA spying Overnight Tech: FCC won't fine Colbert over Trump joke | Trump budget slashes science funding | Net neutrality comment period opens Appeals court decision keeps lawsuit against NSA surveillance alive MORE (R-Pa.), a member of the panel, said Tuesday following meetings with fellow committee member Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerFormer Dem Tenn. gov to launch Senate bid: report McConnell 'almost certain' GOP will pass tax reform Former New Mexico gov: Trump's foreign policy is getting 'criticized by everybody' MORE (R-Tenn.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat McConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Brent Budowsky: A plea to Alabama voters MORE (R-Ky.).
 
Toomey had been pushing for $2 trillion in cuts to be included in the resolution.
 
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“Corker and Toomey probably represent the far end of the spectrum within our conference of what they want to see that look like, and the fact that they’re getting together leads me to believe that we’re close to getting a budget that they can put out of committee and we can consider on the floor,” said Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Overnight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids Dems push for more money for opioid fight MORE (S.D.), the No. 3 Senate Republican.
 
Earlier in the day, Corker had told reporters that they had reached a tentative agreement.
 
It remains unclear, however, whether the budget will be marked up by the committee or simply taken directly to the Senate floor as a “shell,” which simply contains the instructions for the tax reform process. That process, known as reconciliation, would allow Senate Republicans to pass tax reform without facing a Democratic filibuster.
 
If the committee does agree to the massive tax cuts, it would limit the shelf life of any tax reform. Parliamentary rules restrict policy passed through reconciliation from adding to the deficit over the course of a decade, which would put an expiration date on the tax cuts.
 
Toomey has argued that the window — typically 10 years — could be widened to keep the policies in place for a longer period of time.