On November 28, 2017, I wrote that the US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is well aware of the real possibility that the democratic candidate Doug Jones may very well win the previously republican held US senate seat for Alabama for the first time in decades on 12/12/17, and this means, he would lose a crucial vote in the Senate for the republicans tax cuts bill (2017 Donor Relief Act).
So now that the US Senate Majority Leader knows this, what can he do to optimize passage of their highly anticipated tax cut plan or the 2017 Donor Relief Act?
Because the republicans’ US Senate’s version of the tax cut bill differs significantly from the House’s plan, the normal expectation is there would be a conference between both houses to iron out the differences. But now it is too risky to go through this normal process as it would delay the bill for passage after December 12.
The US Senate Majority leader has no option but to approach the republican leader Paul Ryan in the US House of Representatives where both will seriously figure out a plan that would most likely pass both houses of the US Congress. Then the Senator Mitch McConnell will adjust the US senate’s plan accordingly. This maneuver will bypass the conference process where a tax cut bill can be pushed through both houses before December 12, to be placed on President Trump’s desk to be signed by him.Here’s the rest of the story confirming my hypothesis by the NY Times….
On November 28, 2017, the New York Times published the following story, “G.O.P. Tax Bill Takes a Big Step Forward With Committee Vote.”
• “The Senate took a big step forward when the Budget Committee voted to pass the Republicans’ $1.5 trillion tax package, clearing the way for the full Senate to vote on the bill later this week.”
• “After a day of deal making, several senators who were on the fence now seem more receptive to voting for the bill.”
• “Some hurdles still exist, including aligning the Senate version with the House bill and ensuring that the changes some senators want don’t rankle other lawmakers.”
• “On Wednesday, the full Senate will vote on whether to proceed with consideration of the bill.”
• “The advancement of the bill came after a day of partisan sparring in which Congress’s two top Democrats, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, pulled out of a White House meeting after President Trump attacked them in a tweet.”
Chances the bill will pass the full Senate strengthened considerably
“A flurry of last-minute deal making helped garner the support of a few Republican lawmakers who had expressed concerns about the $1.5 trillion package, including its treatment of small businesses and its effect on the deficit.”
“The rapid turnaround underlines the pressure Republicans face to pass a tax cut and notch a significant legislative victory in their first year controlling both Congress and the White House. To help push the effort forward, President Trump visited Capitol Hill for a lunch meeting with Republican senators, where he made promises to some and admonished others.”
“Republicans emerged from the lunch (with President Trump) increasingly optimistic about the bill’s fate and played down the concerns that had threatened to bedevil its passage.
Three key Republican holdouts, Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Bob Corker of Tennessee and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, sounded positive about the bill on Tuesday after gaining assurances from Mr. Trump and Republican leadership that those worries would be addressed.”
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)The bill passed the Senate Budget Committee on a party-line vote
“Among those who voted the bill out of committee were Mr. Johnson and Mr. Corker, both of whom had said on Monday they would oppose the legislation without changes to address their individual concerns. Mr. Johnson wants more favorable treatment for pass-through businesses and Mr. Corker wants assurances the $1.5 trillion tax bill won’t add to the deficit.
But the meeting with Mr. Trump and discussions with Republican leaders seemed to have swayed them enough to vote to advance the plan.”
A vote on Wednesday could open the bill to debate and amendments
“On Wednesday (11/29/17), the Senate will vote on a procedural motion to begin consideration of the bill on the Senate floor. If that passes, the Senate can begin offering and debating amendments to the bill, which is a precursor to a floor vote that could happen on Friday.”
Democrats have deep concerns about the tax bill, too
“Mr. Schumer, speaking on the Senate floor, pounded on Republicans and Mr. Trump for blocking Democrats from participating in the tax overhaul, saying it would help the rich and corporations instead of the middle class.”
“It’s an issue crying out for a bipartisan solution,” he said of the tax rewrite. “There are a lot of areas we agree. We have to work to find a middle ground that’s acceptable to both parties.” The bill as it stands, he said, would balloon the debt and help hedge funds and lobbyists but not average Americans.”
“Democrats are also worried about a provision in the Senate bill that repeals the requirement that most Americans have health insurance or pay a penalty. Dropping the so-called individual mandate (as per Obamacare) would produce savings that would help pay for the tax cuts, since people would forgo health insurance and therefore the government would spend less on subsidized health coverage.”
A “dynamic” economic analysis MAY come on Wednesday (by 12/1/17)
“Senate Republicans have been speeding ahead toward a vote on their tax bill even without a “dynamic” score from the Joint Committee on Taxation that would show the effects of the proposed tax cuts on the economy. That score is important, since it will show the extent to which the tax cuts will boost growth and avoid adding to the deficit.”
“The analysis could roil the tax debate at the 11th hour by giving pause to deficit hawks in the Senate. It would be the first attempt by the committee to project the economic effects of the Republican tax plans. The House passed its bill this month before the committee could complete a so-called dynamic score of the bill.”
“Outside analysts expect the score will show that the Senate bill does not create nearly enough economic growth to generate revenues to offset those lost via tax cuts. Such a showing would undermine Republicans’ claims that the bill would pay for itself.
In a letter that was sent on Monday to Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the J.C.T. said there is still a chance that such an analysis could be ready this week, perhaps as soon as late Wednesday.”
“The Joint Committee staff is currently involved in analyzing the macroeconomic effects of the bill, and is trying to complete the analysis for purposes of producing the estimate of the budget effects” in time to inform debate on the Senate floor, Thomas Barthold, chief of staff of the J.C.T. wrote in a letter to Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the ranking Democrat on the finance committee.”
“Thus far, dynamic analyses of the Republican tax bills have failed to match the promises of the party’s lawmakers that the tax cuts would pay for themselves (via) a surge of economic growth and new revenues.”