Republican Senate leaders Just as before find themselves at risk of alienating some of their members while trying to appease others.
A tax bill tool designed to win the support of key GOP senators can be finding resistance among others. Still, the rumblings may not be enough to trip up Senate Republicans as they push to pass a bill overhauling the American tax system that will week.
On Tuesday, holdout Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., voted to advance the bill to the Senate floor after reaching a tentative deal on including a fiscal “trigger” to ease his concerns about the plan’s effects on budget deficits. The mechanism, specific details of which have not been released, might effectively raise taxes if U.S. economic growth doesn’t generate as much revenue as expected coming from the overhaul.
The tool could help to win the support of Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla., along with Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who had similar fears about doing up for the nearly $1.5 trillion in estimated tax cuts under the plan.
Not every GOP senator feels the same way about putting the provision in a bill the full chamber could vote on as early as Thursday. While including the fiscal trigger may not sink the chances of passing the bill, the item again puts GOP leadership inside the tricky position of balancing competing concerns of its members.
Sens. David Perdue, R-Ga., Dean Heller, R-Nev., along with Thom Tillis, R-N.C., said Wednesday they did not support the trigger mechanism. None of the senators signaled that will including the item inside the bill might make them vote against the item.
Tillis “believes the item can be unnecessary along with could hamper economic growth, however the item can be not a deal breaker for him,” a Tillis spokesman said in a statement.
On Tuesday, Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., said people should consider him “drunk” if he voted to “implement automatic tax increases on the American people,” according to Bloomberg. He added that will “I’m not voting for that will.” A Kennedy spokesman did not immediately respond to a request to comment Wednesday on whether the senator’s position had changed.
On Wednesday morning, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., a member of the Senate’s tax-writing committee, criticized the trigger although did not go as far as to say he might vote against the item.
“I don’t like the idea of putting in triggers based on revenue, although I like the idea of passing legislation,” Toomey told the Fox Business Network.
Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., the third-ranking Senate Republican, has also expressed doubts about the trigger, Bloomberg reported. As a member of Senate leadership, Thune likely might not vote against the bill.
Spokespeople for Toomey along with Thune did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Senate Republicans walk a tightrope in getting the votes to pass their tax plan. With 52 seats inside the Senate, they can only lose two votes along with still pass the bill under special budget rules, assuming all Democrats along with independents vote against the item.
The Senate proposal already makes most individual tax cuts expire within a decade to save money along with comply with budget rules. The corporate tax reduction to 20 percent coming from 35 percent can be permanent.
Interest groups like the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce have also opposed the trigger provision.
Senators are still negotiating what coming from the trigger might take, along with when the item might go into effect. Toomey broadly explained how the item could work inside the Fox interview Wednesday morning.
“We’ve got a provision which we will work out the details on — the item’ll take a look six years coming from currently along with determine whether or not we are at the revenue projections that will we are doing today based on the current policy of the federal government. I certainly desire along with I certainly believe that will we will be exceeding those revenue levels in which case no change happens. If, however, the revenue can be below the target, then we will have to implement at that will point, seven years coming from currently, some kind of tax increase that will will generate a certain amount of revenue over the next ten years. I don’t think that will can be optimal.”
Asked on Tuesday who might bear the brunt of the tax increases under the backstop provision, Corker said he did not want to take away coming from the “certainty” of tax policy that will businesses might want to see to invest. Prompted on whether that will means individuals might see their taxes raised while corporations might not, Corker responded that will “both” might have an increase.
Outside of the deficit concerns, GOP senators have expressed doubts about various other aspects of the plan. Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., along with Steve Daines, R-Mont., have argued that will the plan helps corporations at the expense of little, pass-through businesses, which pay individual rates.
Johnson, like Corker, voted to advance the bill on Tuesday after he said he got assurances that will his concerns might be addressed.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, also wants legislation passed to curb the effects of scrapping Obamacare’s individual mandate. The provision inside the Senate tax bill can be anticipated to raise average Obamacare premiums by about 10 percent, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.