Corker: No agreement yet on debt trigger in tax bill

Greg Nash

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a key holdout on the Republican tax bill, says a proposal to establish a trigger pulling back tax cuts in case economic projects fall short hasn’t been resolved.

The lack of an agreement puts the votes of Corker and at least two other deficit hawks, Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.), in jeopardy. 

Asked if there was agreement on the trigger, Corker replied, “no.” 

“An offer has been made and we’re dealing with it and other issues,” Corker said.

The proposal under discussion would rollback tax relief and raise about $350 billion over 10 years in case the GOP’s $1.5 trillion tax bill fails to spur as much economic growth as projected. 

Corker declined to say how specifically the proposed trigger would raise revenues. 

“It’s a basket of issues,” he said.

Senate Republican negotiators are looking at a trigger that would roll back tax relief instead of cutting spending, in part because of procedural rules that limit what can be in the bill.

“It would have to be tax to be germane,” said Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), who is working with Corker to implement the safeguard. 

An array of conservative groups, such as Club for Growth and Americans for Tax Reform, have come out strongly against the idea of a trigger.

They say it would create uncertainty in the private sector over the permanence of tax relief.

Tags Bob Corker James Lankford Jeff Flake

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