Senate, House reveal full tax bill

By Danielle Haynes Follow @DanielleHaynes1 Contact the Author   |  Updated Dec. 15, 2017 at 7:34 PM
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Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Republicans revealed the final version of their tax overhaul bill Friday, lowering the corporate rate to 21 percent and the top individual rate to 37 percent.

The 500-page bill could pass both the House and Senate next week after Republican senators who previously indicated they would vote against the legislation changed course Friday.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act drops the corporate rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and repeals the corporate alternative minimum tax. It also drops the top rate for individuals from 39.6 percent to 37 percent and nearly doubles the standard education for individuals.

A last-minute adjustment to the child tax credit to appease Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., brings it up to $2,000, which is refundable up to $1,400.

Marco said earlier in the day he was in favor of the legislation with the increased child tax credit. He and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, had introduced an amendment raising the credit before the Senate passed the bill earlier this month.

Rubio said Thursday he would oppose the bill -- and Lee said he was undecided -- unless it expands the child tax credit to millions of lower-income families by making a larger portion refundable against payroll taxes. They voted in favor of the first version of the bill, which included their amendment.

"For far too long, Washington has ignored and left behind the American working class. Increasing the refundability of the Child Tax Credit from 55% to 70% is a solid step toward broader reforms which are both Pro-Growth and Pro-Worker," Rubio tweeted Friday afternoon.

"But there is still much more to do in the months and years to come. The progress made on the Child Tax Credit would not have been possible without the support of" Lee, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and presidential adviser Ivanka Trump, he added.

Lee appeared to still be undecided Friday, but said he'll "hopefully" support it.

"Sens. Rubio, [Dean] Heller, and Scott have done a tremendous job fighting for working families this week and they have secured a big win," Lee tweeted. "I look forward to reading the full text of the bill and, hopefully, supporting it."

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., was the only Senate Republican who voted against the tax bill earlier this month, saying he could not in good faith vote for a bill that would likely raise the federal budget deficit. A Congressional Budget Office report in November estimated that the tax overhaul would increase the deficit by about $1.4 billion over the next 10 years.

Corker reiterated those concerns Friday, saying the new version of the bill -- after reconciliation with the House -- was "far from perfect."

"Left to my own accord, we would have reached bipartisan consensus on legislation that avoided any chance of adding to the deficit and far less would have been done on the individual side with items that do not generate economic growth," he said in a statement. "But after great thought and consideration, I believe that this once-in-a-generation opportunity to make U.S. businesses domestically more productive and internationally more competitive is one we should not miss."

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