GOP Senator: ‘Confident’ Tax Reform Will Be Done Soon

REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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Republican Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey said Monday he was “confident” that tax reform will be accomplished soon after meeting with fellow lawmakers and President Donald Trump at the White House.

“There is growing momentum for this, and I’m confident that we’re going to get this done soon,” Toomey, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, told reporters.

President Trump hopes to sign a tax reform bill by the end of the year. “We’re working to give the American people a giant tax cut for Christmas,” Trump said in early November. “We are giving them a big, beautiful Christmas present in the form of a tremendous tax cut.”

The House recently passed its version of tax legislation, and Republican Texas Sen. John Cornyn told reporters Monday that Senate Republicans plan to take up its version this week.

A few Senate Republican lawmakers have been hesitant to say they will support the legislation. Senate Finance Committee chairman Orrin Hatch, however, said Monday, “We intend to get to 50” votes.

Vice President Mike Pence would be able to cast a tie-breaking vote.

The White House-backed tax plan would permanently cut the corporate tax and decrease the number of tax brackets.

report by the Congressional Budget Office released Sunday noted that the GOP Senate tax plan would benefit Americans making more than $100,000 annually. The CBO concluded that by 2019 Americans earning less than $30,000 would be worse off under the plan.

A recent poll by Quinnipiac University found that a majority of voters think the Republican tax reform bill will benefit wealthy Americans the most.

“Specifically, our priority is to target middle-class Americans and make sure that that is addressed first and that those people are prioritized in any piece of legislation for either the House or the Senate,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said when asked about this poll. “But at the same time, we want all Americans to benefit by a growing economy and a tax system that actually works for our country versus one that penalizes people.”