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Senate vote on tax cut looms next week

Senate vote on tax cut looms next week
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Senate leaders are planning a floor vote on the GOP tax reform measure potentially as soon as Thursday, according to Bloomberg News.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats slide in battle for Senate McConnell and wife confronted by customers at restaurant Pelosi, Schumer: Trump 'desperate' to put focus on immigration, not health care MORE (R-Ky.) has long said he intended to have the $1.4-trillion package of tax cuts on the floor the week after Thanksgiving — a timeline intended to get the measure to President Trump’s desk before the end of the year.

Republicans have struggled to give Trump a signature legislative achievement to sign his name to during the first year of his presidency, after several failed attempts to unravel Obamacare, and the pressure is on now.

But the GOP must hold together a razor-thin 52-vote majority in order to overcome the united opposition of Democrats, who argue that the bill only benefits wealthy Americans.

The House passed its version of the legislation last week — featuring several marked differences from the Senate bill — but its victory in the upper chamber is by no means certain.

Several Republican senators — like Sens. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerThe Memo: Trump in a corner on Saudi Arabia Corker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation MORE (Tenn.), Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump boosts McSally, bashes Sinema in Arizona Watch live: Trump speaks at Arizona rally Mnuchin to attend anti-terror meeting in Saudi Arabia following Khashoggi disappearance MORE (Ariz.), 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.) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMeghan McCain calls Russian attacks against her father the 'highest compliment' to her family Arizona Dems hope higher Latino turnout will help turn the state blue McConnell: GOP could try to repeal ObamaCare again after midterms MORE (Ariz.) — have raised concerns about the $1.4 trillion that the Joint Committee on Taxation says the bill will add to the federal deficit, contrary to supporters’ claims that the tax cuts will generate enough economic growth to pay for themselves.

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGOP senator seeking information on FBI dealings with Bruce Ohr, former DOJ lawyer Election Countdown: O'Rourke brings in massive M haul | Deal on judges lets senators return to the trail | Hurricane puts Florida candidates in the spotlight | Adelson spending big to save GOP in midterms Senate Homeland chair vents Mueller probe is preventing panel from receiving oversight answers MORE (R-Wis.) has raised objections to the way the bill treats small businesses. Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsConservatives bankrolled and dominated Kavanaugh confirmation media campaign The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns Susan Collins and the mob mentality MORE (R-Maine) has taken issue with a provision repealing the so-called “individual mandate” in Obamacare. (Senate tax writers are leaning on cutting the mandate as a critical part of funding the tax cuts.)

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiPoll: Palin unpopular in Alaska following jab at Murkowski Conservatives bankrolled and dominated Kavanaugh confirmation media campaign Ex-Florida lawmaker leaves Republican Party MORE (R-Alaska), who had previously expressed reservations, provided a boost to the bill’s chances this week when she said that she would support axing the individual mandate.

GOP leaders can afford to lose only two votes before the legislation sinks.

If the bill clears the Senate by Thursday — a dramatic moment that is likely to come after marathon debate — the two chambers will have to hammer out discrepancies in the legislation.

Major differences include timing and permanence of the tax cuts — something House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPelosi, Schumer: Trump 'desperate' to put focus on immigration, not health care Trump urges Dems to help craft new immigration laws: ‘Chuck & Nancy, call me!' Sanders, Harris set to criss-cross Iowa MORE (R-Wis.) has blamed on Senate rules — and its treatment of the Affordable Care Act.

The tax bill “needs work,” Collins said earlier this week, according to Bloomberg. “I think there will be changes.”