WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – Senate Republicans say they finally have the votes needed to pass their tax reform bill.
Voting on the current bill came to an end Thursday night after a disagreement over the plan’s impact on the deficit. A new analysis shows it would add one trillion dollars to the deficit over the next decade.
“Economic consulting has been about as accurate as those late night psychic hotlines,” said Senator John Kennedy, R-La.
Most Republicans shook off the findings of the bipartisan joint committee on taxation which projected that economic growth from the GOP tax plan would only cover about $400 billion worth of the $1.4 trillion cost.
“I think the JTC scoring is highly questionable,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX.
But a few GOP deficit hawks, like Tennessee’s Bob Corker, began looking for way to cut the bill’s price tag. Asked if he was set on his vote, Corker replied: “I’m still working on it.”
One idea is to scale back the bill’s generous 15-point corporate tax cut.
Democrats oppose the bill altogether. They warn it’s only “step one” of a longer-range GOP plan that will harm the middle class with cuts to entitlements.
“It will enrich the very wealthiest Americans. It will temporarily help the middle class, but the middle-class tax cuts expire,” said Senator Chris Coons, D-DE.
Many Republicans say it’s better to move ahead with an imperfect plan than wait and lose momentum.
“We just can’t fail. I mean this is just unacceptable for the Republican Party at the house and senate and White House and not be able to reform the tax code. It is just an unacceptable outcome,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, R-SC.
A final vote is expected on Friday. The GOP can only afford to lose two votes to get the bill passed. If it does, the Senate plan will have to be reconciled with the House version passed in November.
The White House is predicting tax reform will be signed into law by Christmas.