Senate Republicans look to move their tax bill as soon as this week over broad opposition from Democrats, who argue that the GOP’s top legislative priority would be a giveaway to corporations and the rich.
The Senate Budget Committee will meet Tuesday to prepare the fiscal 2018 reconciliation bill that will carry the tax reform measure. Republicans are using the reconciliation process to move the tax cuts because reconciliation measures only need a simple majority to pass the Senate.
The GOP holds just 52 seats in the Senate, meaning that, if no Democrats support the bill, GOP leader Mitch McConnell can afford to lose just two Republican votes and still pass the bill with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaker.
Republicans argue that the bill will spur economic growth by slashing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, expanding expensing provisions and encouraging companies to bring home earnings parked overseas.
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., has already voiced opposition to the bill, citing concerns about how small businesses would be taxed in the Senate version.
But speaking on Fox News Sunday, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.,said there will be “plenty of opportunities to change the bill in a way a lot of our senators want to see” when the bill reaches the Senate floor.