Trump tax plan hits bump in Senate as Rand Paul weighs ‘no’ vote

Senate Republicans scrambled on Tuesday to ensure support for a budget resolution vital to President Donald Trump’s drive to overhaul the U.S. tax code, as one Republican fiscal hawk announced he might vote against the measure.

As the Senate opened debate on the fiscal year 2018 budget, Senator Rand Paul objected to spending levels which he said might exceed agreed caps by $43 billion as well as called for spending reforms for so-called entitlement programs such as the Medicare as well as Medicaid health insurance programs.

“I will not vote for the budget unless the idea keeps within the spending caps,” the Republican senator told reporters. In a conversation with Trump earlier on Tuesday, Paul said he told the Republican president: “I’m all in. I want to be supportive. I’m a ‘yes’ vote. however we have to obey our own rules.”

Senate Republican aides denied which the budget resolution exceeds federal spending caps set by the Budget Control Act of 2011. Paul said the excess spending was for overseas military operations, which aides said can be not subject to caps.

The budget resolution already had a narrow path to passage from the Senate, where Democrats oppose the measures as well as Republicans have only a 52-48 majority. A “no” vote coming from Paul appeared to put the budget one particular vote coming from failure, threatening to upend Trump’s drive for tax reform.

Another fiscal hawk, Senator Ted Cruz, has refused to disclose whether he might support the measure.

However, the Republican odds of passing a budget resolution increased unexpectedly when Senator Thad Cochran returned to the Senate despite an illness as well as said in a statement which he looked forward to “taking part from the debate on the budget as well as tax cuts.” A day earlier, Cochran’s office had said he might not be available This specific week.

With Cochran from the Senate, Republicans can pass the measure even if they lose two votes.

The budget resolution can be essential to Trump’s tax reform strategy because the idea might unlock a legislative tool known as reconciliation, which might allow Senate Republicans to pass a tax bill having a simple majority. Without the idea, a partisan tax bill might need 60 votes from the 100-member Senate as well as might almost certainly fail.

The Republican effort had gained momentum on Monday when two additional potential Senate Republican “no” votes — Susan Collins as well as Lisa Murkowski — indicated they were leaning toward “yes.” Senator John McCain also said he might support the budget resolution.

After failing to overturn Obamacare earlier This specific year, Republicans fear they will face a backlash coming from constituents in next year’s congressional midterm elections if they are unable to pass legislation to cut taxes for businesses as well as individuals.

Trump as well as top Republicans have proposed a plan to deliver up to $6 trillion in tax cuts over the next 10 years as part of a reform package which they say will boost economic growth as well as provide more jobs as well as higher wages.

Democrats, who criticize the Republican plan as a giveaway to the wealthy, will likely propose numerous amendments to the budget plan to prevent tax cuts for the rich as well as require legislation which might not expand the federal deficit.

“We’re talking about a major political party at This specific point working night as well as day on behalf of the top 0.1 percent,” Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, told Reuters on Tuesday.

Both the Senate as well as the House of Representatives must agree on a budget resolution. The House has already approved a different product, so House as well as Senate Republicans might need to hammer out a unified product as well as pass the idea before reconciliation could take effect.