- The Senate is aiming for a final vote on the gigantic Republican tax bill on Friday afternoon.
- While Republicans are still arguing over details, it appears they have enough votes.
- The bill would make huge changes to business and individual taxes.
The final vote on the massive Senate Republican tax bill is fast approaching on Friday as GOP leaders scrambled to make last-minute changes to their bill.
Republicans appear to have the votes to pass the TCJA, but the situation is still fluid. Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Senate Republican, said Friday morning that Republicans had enough votes to pass it. Sen. Bob Corker, a Republican holdout on the TCJA, said the bill would likely get through with or without his vote.
“I realize that there’s probably enough votes right now to pass it,” Corker told reporters.
Mitch McConnell is attempting to appease deficit hawks, moderates, and members concerned about small business all while keeping the TCJA within Senate rules.
The last minute changes are continuing into Friday evening, as Republicans have yet to release the final version of their bill. The fluid nature of the bill may be causing issues with the Senate rules.
The vote on Friday would come just three weeks after the bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), was introduced.
As the day rolls on, we’ll be following along live, so check back for updates.
5:00: Bob Corker will vote against the bill
Corker, who long held concerns about the deficit impact of the bill, said he would vote against the bill. He is so far the only Republican members against the bill.
“This is yet another tough vote. I am disappointed,” Corker said in a statement. “I wanted to get to yes. But at the end of the day, I am not able to cast aside my fiscal concerns and vote for legislation that I believe, based on the information I currently have, could deepen the debt burden on future generations.”
4:00 pm: Susan Collins officially announces she will vote for the bill
Collins said she secured key changes to the bill including changes to the medical expense deduction and the state and local tax deduction.
“Having secured these key improvements in the bill, as well as the commitments to legislation to help lower health insurance premiums, I will cast my vote in support of the Senate tax reform bill,” Collins said in a statement. “As revised, this bill will provide much-needed tax relief and simplification for lower- and middle-income families, while spurring the creation of good jobs and greater economic growth.”
3:00: Sen. Claire McCaskill tweets a list of possible GOP amendments that she got from a lobbyist.
McCaskill, a Democrat from Missouri, tweeted a picture that she said was sent to her by a lobbyist. The list shows a series of amendment from Republicans that are set to be considered and possibly added to the tax bill.
“This is so bad. We have just gotten list of amendments to be included in bill NOT from our R colleagues, but from lobbyists downtown,” McCaskill said in the tweet. “None of us have seen this list, but lobbyists have it. Need I say more? Disgusting. And we probably will not even be given time to read them.”