Republicans could alter tax bill to earn support of holdouts

By Brooks Hays  |  Nov. 26, 2017 at 4:16 PM
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Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Though the GOP tax bill has broad support among Republicans, conservative groups and many business leaders, holdouts remain in the Senate.

As the Washington Post reports, GOP leaders are considering changes to the legislation to win the support of those still on the fence.

Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., are among at least six senators who could withhold their support. The duo have expressed concerns that the legislation favors large corporations over other types of businesses.

With 52 Republicans in the U.S. Senate, the GOP can afford to lose only two votes.

Several Senate Republicans have complained that the tax bill doesn't allow individuals, families and businesses filing through the individual income tax code -- known as "pass-through companies -- to subtract state and local taxes from their taxable income.

The first rounds of voting on the bill are expected to begin in the Senate on Tuesday, but Republicans on the Budget Committee, where the legislation will begin its route to the Senate floor, could hold up the bill until changes are made.

Despite internal criticism, some Republicans are confident the GOP will have the necessary votes.

"What they are concerned about is that the personal tax cuts expire in 2025, and that's a bit of a gimmick," Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., said on CNN's State of the Union. "But we will get there, because failure is not an option when it comes to the Republican Party cutting taxes."

Republicans want to pass the bill with a simple majority using a fast-track process. But in order to do so, the bill must not add to the deficit after a 10-year window. In the short-term, the bill can only add $1.5 trillion to the debt. There are concerns that the legislation doesn't comply with the stipulations -- especially if additional small business cuts are granted to appease critics of the bill.

With the end of the year nearing, pressure is mounting for the GOP to notch a legislative victory.

"I hope we can get it done by Christmas," Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. said on ABC's This Week. "If not, we'll be here through Christmas, looking at the end of the year."

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