What Happened in Today’s Tax Debate?

by Jibran Khan

After advancing through committee on Wednesday and proceeding to debate last night, today the Senate GOP’s tax bill reached the floor for discussion and proposed changes.

The morning debate was largely uneventful, save for former holdout Senator John McCain’s decision to support the bill, while noting its deficit issues.

Debate became heated in the afternoon, once the Joint Committee on Taxation released its analysis of the plan, estimating an additional net $1 trillion dollars in deficit, even with growth, which made the claim that the cuts are self-funding much more difficult to argue. The Senate then debated whether to send the bill back to committee, but after prolonged discussion, Republican senators (including those who oppose the bill) voted against that motion.

Tonight, the Senate parliamentarian ruled that the “trigger” proposal, which would have automatically rescinded some tax cuts in the event that economic conditions did not live up would not be acceptable. However, recognizing the demands of fiscal conservatives, Senate Republicans agreed to roll back $350 billion of cuts, starting in year six or seven of the plan. They have not yet announced which cuts they plan to curtail.

Debate is still ongoing. The Senate hopes to vote on the bill by the end of the week.

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