Senate panel to finally mark up 2018 budget next week

After months of delays and waffling, the Senate Budget Committee is set to mark up its 2018 budget next week, the first week of the fiscal year it is meant to cover.
“The budget committee will be marking up next week, and we plan on moving forward on our next priority, which is reforming the American tax code in a significant way for the first time in 30 years,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Tuesday.
{mosads}The budget’s instructions on reconciliation, a process to allow Republicans to bypass a Democratic filibuster on tax reform in the Senate, have been a key sticking point.
Last week, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a deficit hawk, struck a deal with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who favors including a major tax cut in the reform, even if it’s unfunded.
The deal would reportedly allow tax writers to include up to $1.5 trillion in unfunded tax cuts in the bill. Corker has insisted that he would not vote for a final tax bill that increased the deficit, and said the deal was an attempt to circumvent problems with strict reconciliation rules.
“The way it’s being reported just numbers-wise is somewhat accurate, but it’s actually not accurate when you look at what really is happening versus current policy,” Corker said. 
The deal would rely on static scoring, which does not include the increased revenue from economic growth that Republicans expect tax reform to unleash.
It also uses a measure of “current law” as opposed to “current policy” as the baseline for measuring the cuts, a measuring difference that could change the deficit measure by as much as $500 billion.
As far as the numbers go, the Senate budget is expected to be based on 2017 overall spending levels, with some funds shuffled around between agencies. 
Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) has been oddly quiet on the process and the deal.
Meanwhile, the House budget, which passed committee in July, may be on the verge of overcoming its own roadblocks to final passage on the House floor.
With Republicans set to unveil the details of their tax reform plans on Wednesday, key opposition to the budget’s passage in the House may fall.
“Based on the conversations I’ve been having, I’m optimistic that we’ll get enough detail that will allow us to make a yes-or-no decision on the budget in the coming days,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the hard right House Freedom Caucus. 
Many members of the Freedom Caucus have refused to support the budget until they were given more details on tax reform. The group is set to meet after the details are released to discuss an official position.
If they drop their objections, the budget could come to the floor as soon as next week, though GOP sources say it could take longer.
Tags Bob Corker Mark Meadows Mike Enzi Mitch McConnell Pat Toomey

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