Finance

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 Toomey (R-Pa.), a member of the panel, said Tuesday following meetings with fellow committee member Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
 
Toomey had been pushing for $2 trillion in cuts to be included in the resolution.
 
{mosads}“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 Thune (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.
Tags Bob Corker John Thune Mitch McConnell Pat Toomey

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