Senate and House Republicans have reached a broad agreement on a major overhaul of the U.S. tax code, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch said Wednesday.
As he was leaving for the White House, the Senate Finance Chairman confirmed the House and Senate have reached a deal on overhauling the tax code.
Democrats were quick to call on Republicans to delay their efforts to rewrite the tax code, saying Doug Jones' victory in Tuesday’s special Senate election in Alabama is a sign from voters that needs to be heeded.
“The vote on the tax bill should be postponed. The voice of Alabamians should be heard on this and Doug Jones should have a chance to weigh in,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez told reporters Wednesday.
Nothing against the members of the House and Senate attending Wednesday’s inaugural meeting of the conference committee finalizing the tax code overhaul, but it’s mostly for show and unlikely to be must-see television.
That’s because, with the arguable exception of the farm bill, open meetings of conference committees are not where the deals get done, despite the talking points from top negotiators.
Thursday became departure day in the Senate, with back-to-back farewell speeches oddly linked due to the recent wave of allegations about sexual harassment.
Staffers and visitors, along with members of the media, filled the Senate chamber Thursday morning for Sen. Al Franken’s announcement that he would in fact resign his seat in the aftermath of an ever-increasing number of sexual harassment allegations.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer knew it was time for Minnesota Democrat Al Franken to leave the Senate even before the public calls for his resignation Wednesday.
The New York Democrat told Franken in a phone call that he needed to resign after Wednesday morning’s publication of further allegations of sexual misconduct by the senator, according to a person familiar with the conversation.
Nearly simultaneously, a series of Senate Democratic women issued calls for Democratic Sen. Al Franken to resign Wednesday morning including Patty Murray, a trusted lieutenant to Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and rising star Kamala Harris.
They were followed quickly by several Senate Democratic men and the head of the national Democratic Party.
Updated 10:58 a.m. | Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he did not expect to lose any campaigns in 2018 because of fringe candidates who might have the backing of Breitbart’s Steve Bannon.
“We’re not going to lose any nominations to the kind of candidates that guy you were talking about endorsed,” McConnell said. “What he’s a specialist in is nominating people who lose.”
After President Donald Trump signed proclamations Monday drastically diminishing the scale of national monuments in Utah, he handed off the pen to a senator who still seems a most unlikely ally.
“I’ve served under many presidents — seven to be exact — but none is like the man we have in the White House today. When you talk, this president listens,” Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch said Monday in introducing Trump at Utah’s state Capitol in Salt Lake City.
Updated at 2:28 a.m. | This time, just about everything went according to plan for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The Kentucky Republican, who months ago came up just short of passing a bill through his chamber to roll back the 2010 health care law, got 51 Republicans behind the sweeping tax overhaul that passed in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
The statement from the California Democrat comes in response to allegations that Kihuen sexually harassed his finance director on the campaign trail last year.
After sending senators home earlier than expected Thursday, Republican negotiators were going to work through the night trying to thread the needle to get 50 or more votes for their tax code rewrite.
Senate Finance ranking member Ron Wyden was giving a lengthy speech criticizing the Republican tax plan after Thurday night’s final Senate vote, but the Oregon Democrat was really serving as the soundtrack over an animated gathering of Republican senators and senior aides.
Sen. Susan Collins said Republican leaders have assured her that automatic cuts to entitlement programs that would be triggered if the GOP tax overhaul becomes law would be stopped.
The reductions, which could amount to $25 billion in cuts to Medicare, would occur under the 2010 statutory pay-as-you-go law unless Congress approves a waiver.
Sen. Susan Collins said the question of expelling Roy Moore from the Senate is a complicated one.
The Republican from Maine noted she supported Sen. Luther Strange in the Alabama primary.
Updated 7:45 p.m. | Most of the focus has been on taxes, but the portion of the Senate reconciliation bill that would open up drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge needed to be revised, too.
Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said the fixes that are being worked out for Byrd violations in her portion of the bill would be added to a substitute to be offered by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
How sacrosanct is President Donald Trump’s commitment to a 20 percent corporate tax rate?
A GOP amendment to the Republican bill to overhaul the U.S. tax code that would raise the corporate rate to offset an enhanced child tax credit could put that to the test.
A pro-Trump outside group is taking to the airwaves in Oklahoma, pushing to make sure that GOP Sen. James Lankford votes in favor of the Senate’s tax overhaul.
Lankford has been among the Republican senators working on a so-called “trigger” option that could provide a backstop, rolling back some of the tax cuts in the event economic growth targets and thus the accompanying revenue are not met.
Moderate Senate Democrats — many of them on the ballot in 2018 — came together with a unified message Tuesday morning, just before President Donald Trump arrived at the Capitol to meet with the Republican Conference.
Sen. Tim Kaine was perhaps the most direct. The Virginia Democrat said at the news conference that the GOP should make a run at a bipartisan product before bringing to the floor a tax reconciliation bill that would only require a simple majority to pass.
If the tax reconciliation bill somehow doesn’t make it to the Senate floor this week, it may have to wait until much closer to Christmas.
Pushing the measure back just a week would not seem to be an option because of December’s other deadline crush: the expiration of the current continuing resolution funding the government through Dec. 8.
The Senate Appropriations Committee’s decision to release the four remaining fiscal 2018 spending bills last week — including a cap-busting defense measure — underscores the urgency to get a deal on the bigger picture.
If the Senate defense bill became law, arbitrary automatic cuts would take place in the middle of January, as Democratic Sens. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont and Richard J. Durbin of Illinois pointed out in a Nov. 21 statement.
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