The Latest: GOP still fighting for tax bill votes in Senate - InfoNews

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The Latest: GOP still fighting for tax bill votes in Senate

Senate Finance Committee member Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., front, with, from left, Sens. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, speaks to reporters following a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
November 28, 2017 - 12:11 AM

WASHINGTON - The Latest on the Republican tax overhaul (all times local):

11:15 p.m.

Senate Republicans are indicating they still have a way to go to secure the votes for their tax overhaul.

A second GOP senator, Steve Daines of Montana, announced Monday that he opposes the tax bill in its current form. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has already said he oppose the bill.

Both senators complain that the tax bill favours large corporations over small businesses. Republicans have only two votes to spare in the Senate, where they hold a 52-48 edge and anticipate Vice-President Mike Pence breaking a tie.

President Donald Trump is maintaining that the bill will help all Americans. He says, "It's going to mostly benefit people looking for jobs more than anything else, because we're giving great incentives."

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8:00 p.m.

Senate Republicans are considering a trigger that would automatically increase taxes if their sweeping legislation fails to generate as much revenue as they expect. It's an effort to mollify deficit hawks who worry that tax cuts for businesses and individuals will add to the nation's already mounting debt.

The effort comes as a second Republican senator, Steve Daines of Montana, announced Monday that he opposes the tax bill in its current form. Previously, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said he opposed the bill, leaving Senate Republicans no room for error as they hope to vote on the bill this week.

Both senators complained that the tax bill favours large corporations over small businesses. Republicans have only two votes to spare in the Senate, where they hold a 52-48 edge and anticipate Vice-President Mike Pence breaking a tie, if needed.

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5:15 p.m.

Congressional analysts find that many low- and middle-income Americans would be left worse off by the Republican tax bill now before the Senate, while the wealthy would get big benefits.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says in a new report that people earning less than $30,000 a year would lose out by 2019 from the combination of tax cuts and reduced federal benefits. By 2027, those earning less than $75,000 would be worse off, according to the report.

The new report finds that Americans earning $100,000 to $500,000 annually would benefit significantly under the Senate bill.

The CBO previously projected that the Senate measure's repeal of the requirement that everyone have health insurance would result in 13 million more uninsured people by 2027.

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4:05 p.m.

Republican Sen. Steve Daines is withholding support for the GOP tax bill until he sees changes that would help small businesses.

That's the word Monday from the Montana lawmaker. Daines says he wants to ensure that the tax bill doesn't put small businesses at a competitive disadvantage against large corporations.

He says, "before I can support this bill, this improvement needs to be made." He says he's optimistic and will continue working with his GOP colleagues on the issue.

Daines joins Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin in expressing opposition to the bill in its current form.

Johnson is set to vote in the Senate Budget Committee Tuesday on the measure. He told a Wisconsin reporter, "If we develop a fix prior to committee, I'll probably support it but if we don't I'll vote against it."

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3 p.m.

A group of Republican senators appears optimistic after meeting with President Donald Trump about a GOP-led tax plan.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn says the current plan is to vote on the tax bill this week on the Senate floor. He says the Senate bill has made some "substantial improvements" from the House version of the bill, but they will sort out those differences in a joint House-Senate conference committee.

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch says Senate Republicans "intend to get to 50" votes in the chamber. He says he's optimistic they can work with some Republican holdouts like Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin on the bill.

And Hatch is calling for Senate Democrats to "get off their duffs" and work with Republicans on the bill.

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1:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans are scrambling to change a GOP tax bill in an effort to win over holdout GOP senators and pass a tax package by the end of the year.

In a Monday morning tweet, the president says, "With just a few changes, some mathematical, the middle class and job producers can get even more in actual dollars and savings."

Trump meets Monday afternoon with five members of the Senate Finance Committee, all of whom are on board with the GOP plan. A Senate Republican, Oklahoma's James Lankford, says GOP leaders are working on a potential revenue "backstop" in case the party's tax-cut legislation fails to produce hoped-for levels of growth and tax receipts.

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12:05 p.m.

A Senate Republican says GOP leaders are working on a potential revenue "backstop" in case the party's tax cut legislation fails to produce hoped-for levels of growth and tax receipts.

Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford said he and other Republicans are working on "just-in-case options" to add to the measure during Senate floor debate this week. He appears to be talking about a mechanism that could automatically force tax rates back up if revenues fall short.

Lankford cited the experience of states like Oklahoma and Kansas, which are now facing big shortfalls after aggressively cutting taxes. He added that lawmakers "should build in the 'what if?' What if this doesn't work?"

The Republican tax plan would cut corporate and personal taxes by $1.5 trillion over the coming decade. Lawmakers are working on ways to pay for those cuts.

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10:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump says changes are to the Republican tax bill are coming, as he looks to win over holdout GOP senators in an effort to pass the package by the end of the year.

In a Monday morning tweet, the president says, "With just a few changes, some mathematical, the middle class and job producers can get even more in actual dollars and savings."

Trump is suggesting openness to making unspecified changes to the way millions of "pass-through" businesses are taxed, a sticking point for some lawmakers.

Trump is set to meet Monday afternoon with five members of the Senate Finance Committee, all of whom are on board with the GOP plan. He will travel to Capitol Hill Tuesday to personally lobby Republican senators.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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