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Here is your daily round-up of news and analysis to keep you informed as tax reform works its way through Congress.
In the news
The Senate voted almost entirely along party lines to approve its version of comprehensive tax reform legislation December 2, but not before Republican leaders made some significant modifications to win support from wavering members within their own ranks.
As approved, the modified Senate version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1), which cleared the chamber by a vote of 51-49, follows the broad contours of the measure that was reported out of the Senate Finance Committee on November 16 by providing permanent tax relief – including a significantly lower top rate – for corporations and temporary tax relief for individuals and passthrough entities, with those costs offset in part by eliminating or paring back dozens of current-law deductions, credits, and incentives.
Politico: “How McConnell got a win on taxes”
On a recent phone call to discuss the GOP’s tax push, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested President Donald Trump focus his personal lobbying efforts on one senator in particular: Ron Johnson.
For weeks, the Wisconsin Republican had made it clear he would seek more generous tax treatment of certain small businesses — and that he was willing to use his vote as leverage. But after several phone calls from Trump and one final negotiating session inside Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn’s ornate Capitol office, Johnson said early Friday he would finally support the bill. That announcement made passage seem all but inevitable just one night after the bill nearly collapsed in spectacular fashion on the Senate floor.
McConnell and his leadership team ultimately secured passage of the tax code rewrite in the early hours of Saturday morning after weeks of methodically working each wavering vote, and by trying to learn the lessons of their Obamacare repeal failure.
It worked. By moving the tax bill through the committee process and letting more GOP senators give more input as they drafted the bill, the Kentucky Republican delivered a sorely-needed legislative achievement to his party in a year marked by turbulence on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.