Senate Republicans to take big move toward 'massive' tax reform

ANI | Updated: Oct 19, 2017 22:43 IST

California [United States] October 19 (ANI): The Senate Republicans will take their first big step toward the 'massive' tax reform package that United States President Donald Trump has promised with plans to vote on a related budget plan as early as Thursday night.

The four trillion dollars nonbinding budget plan would serve as a vehicle for tax legislation later this year.

It would allow the Senate to use a special process that avoids a Democratic filibuster.

According to Fox News, the Republicans are expected to have the votes for the first step, though Trump left that question open as he touted the plan Thursday morning on Twitter.

"Republicans are going for the big Budget approval today, first step toward massive tax cuts. I think we have the votes, but who knows?" Trump tweeted.

The House passed its version last week.

It's a crucial step for the Republicans to set the stage for tax reform, after falling short on their seven-year promise to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

"Passing this budget is critical to getting tax reform done, so we can strengthen our economy after years of stagnation under the previous Administration," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor Thursday morning.

The budget plan calls for 473 billion dollars in cuts from Medicare over 10 years and more than 1 trillion dollars from Medicaid.

"Anything that we do here has to be completed in other committees in order to ever happen," Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said.

He added that this budget does slow Medicare's projected annual rate of growth by approximately one percent.

Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran, who had been out of Washington after weeks in his district being treated for urological problems, is back to Capitol Hill and ready to vote on Thursday night.

Other critical votes from moderate Republicans, like Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, would back the effort.

Republicans can only afford to lose two votes and still pass the budget plan.

"The fact is, most of the rest of the world has been about the business of improving their tax code while we have not," Senator Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said.

He added that this is the opportunity to catch up and it can be done in a big way as long as this budget is passed.

Senate Democrats, meanwhile, are against the measure.

"There's going to be a very bright light shining on our Republican colleagues in the House and Senate," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on Wednesday.

"It's not easy to write a massive tax bill, and all the while, while they're writing it and once it comes out, that bright light of truth will produce, in my judgment, the same result we had on health care: the more the American people see, the less they'll like it," Schumer added. (ANI)