Senate Republicans Attempt To Rewrite Tax Bill At The Last Minute

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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Senate Republicans are scrambling to rewrite parts of their tax bill after the parliamentarian ruled against the deficit trigger, a key provision to get deficit hawks on board.

The trigger was a critical component in getting hesitant lawmakers — namely Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, a staunch opponent of deficit spending — on board with the measure due to concerns the initial text would have led to a dramatic increase to the nation’s deficit.

While language including the backstop was added to the text, its inclusion violated Senate rules, preventing Republicans from passing the bill with just a simple majority.

“It doesn’t look like the trigger is going to work according to the parliamentarian, so we have an alternative — frankly a tax increase we don’t want to do — but we ate trying to address Sen. Corker’s needs,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn told reporters Thursday.

Senate leadership was aiming to get the vote underway Thursday evening, but the parliamentary roadblock is proving to be problematic in accomplishing their goal.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch told reporters he’s hoping they will complete the revisions to the bill by Friday.

Cornyn said they are considering a “stairstep” approach to the corporate rate, gradually increasing the rate over time.

“Want’s being talked about right now which is simply going on an automatic kick-end some year in the future with no trigger,” Georgia Sen. David Perdue said of the tax increase.

Senate Republicans are hoping to pass the bill by Friday.

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