Cornyn: Senate tax vote likely after Thanksgiving
© Greg Nash
Sen. John CornynJohn CornynTrump defends 0B US arms sale to Saudi Arabia Florida politics play into disaster relief debate O’Rourke faces pivotal point in Texas battle with Cruz MORE (R-Texas) said on Thursday that the Senate's vote on its tax plan will likely be pushed until after Thanksgiving. 
"I think it's more likely it will be the week after Thanksgiving," said Cornyn, the No. 2 Senate Republican, asked about when the Senate could take up its tax plan. 
He pointed to "the challenges over here dealing through what budget reconciliation, the Byrd bath and things like that [require]" as the reason for the likely delay. 
The Byrd rule and reconciliation both govern the Senate's consideration of the tax bill because Republicans are trying to pass it with a simple majority, which could allow them to avoid a Democratic filibuster. 
Thursday's comments are a shift from the Senate GOP majority whip's previous predictions. He said as recently as Monday that the Senate would pass its legislation before they left town for Thanksgiving. 
He told reporters late last month that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellJuan Williams: Trump’s policies on race are more important than his rhetoric It’s Mitch McConnell’s Washington – and we’re just living in it Trump makes new overtures to Democrats MORE (R-Ky.), who hadn't publicly committed to the Thanksgiving timeframe, was pushing for the Senate to get their bill cleared before the Senate leaves town for a week. 
"Yes, we need to get the tax bill out of the Senate before Thanksgiving," Cornyn added when asked if he thought lawmakers would work during the weeklong break.

GOP Sen. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordCollusion judgment looms for key Senate panel GOP loads up lame-duck agenda as House control teeters The Hill's Morning Report — Kavanaugh, Ford saga approaches bitter end MORE (Okla.) separately told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Thursday morning that the senators would likely work their tax bill "through the process right after Thanksgiving on the floor of the Senate, and then try to conference it with the House."  

And the Senate passing its own bill before the break could have allowed lawmakers to work on merging the proposals over the week-long recess. 
But the timeframe left senators with a narrow window to get their legislation through the upper chamber. The Senate Finance Committee is expected to start its consideration of the tax plan on Monday.
And the Senate is scheduled to leave town on Friday, Nov. 17 — meaning they would either need to stay in town longer to get it passed before the holiday or try to move their bill at breakneck speed. 
Senators are expected to return to Washington on Nov. 27, which could allow them to hold a final vote by the end of the week. But it also pushes debate over the tax plan closer to the Dec. 8 government funding deadline. 
Republicans want to get a tax plan to President Trump's desk by the end of the year.