Senate Republicans: Tax bill 'probably' has votes to pass

By Sara Shayanian  |  Updated Dec. 1, 2017 at 5:01 PM
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Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Senate Republicans said Friday they believe they have the necessary votes to pass their tax overhaul bill, as the chamber's final vote approached.

The vote will come three weeks after the bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, was first introduced.

Republicans appear to have the votes to pass, with Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn of Texas and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., saying they believe they will pass the bill, known as TCJA.

"I realize that there's probably enough votes right now to pass it," Corker said.

"We have at least 50 and we're still working," Cornyn added before Republicans were set to meet to discuss the bill.

On Friday, Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., said they would vote for the tax overhaul -- which could mean a big win for the GOP and President Donald Trump, who have struggled to gain support.

"I think they've got a plan," Marc Short, the White House director of legislative affairs, said. "I'm sure there's plenty of drama ahead today."

Democrats have criticized Republicans for hastily pushing the tax bill through.

"In the waning hours, this bill is tilting further towards businesses and away from families. Every time the choice is between corporations and families, the Republicans choose corporations," Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York said. "And still, no one knows what the final bill will look like."

"Why on earth wouldn't you want to spend more than a few hours looking at a bill of this magnitude?"

Any bill passed by the Senate would have to be reconciled with the House version before it could be sent to Trump to sign into law.

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