Will Republicans Miss Their Own Tax Cut Deadline?

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

House Republican are going to unveil an actual bill tomorrow in their life-long quest to cut taxes for the rich, or maybe not.

Reuters reported last night that some House Republican and lobbyists believe they may miss their self-imposed deadline because there's still big questions Republican leaders haven't found answers to.

Asked if Republicans would release a bill or a detailed summary by their Wednesday target, House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady said, “Our plan right now is the bill.” [...]

Other lawmakers and lobbyists, however, said major elements were up in the air.

Questions remained on tax deductions for business interest payments and state and local taxes, as well as proposals to change tax law on retirement savings and small business taxes, they said.

To say that some elements are still "up in the air" is understating it a bit. These are literally trillion-dollar questions Republicans haven't answered yet. If they have, they're keeping it to themselves.

If Republicans are going miss the deadline they've set for themselves, I expect we'll hear about it later today or tonight. If not, we'll see just how bad their bill is tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) laid out her conditions for supporting a tax cut bill during an interview with Bloomberg and her demands are clearly going to conflict with the House Republican bill as we understand it.

“I do not believe that the top rate should be lowered for individuals who are making more than $1 million a year,” Collins said during an interview with Bloomberg News. “I don’t think there’s any need to eliminate the estate tax.”

Repealing the estate tax and cutting the individual rate from 39.6 percent for top earners “concern me,” she said, adding that she’s conveyed her opposition to party leaders.

I don't necessarily trust that Collins will not eventually cave, but she did sink the GOP's Obamacare repeal bills more than once.

Collins' support (or opposition) is significant because Republicans intend to use the reconciliation process to pass a bill with a simple majority of Republicans. They can't afford to lose the support of more than two senators. Losing the support of a third senator would kill the bill.

Update 7:28 pm... the tax cut bill is reportedly being delayed.

  • swift_4

    Everything Susan Collins said boils down to, “I need to cover my ass. So if I can vote against it, great. But otherwise, I’m with you all the way.”

  • muselet

    Now, I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew taxes could be so complicated.

    Again I say, it’s good the Rs are incompetent.


  • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

    I guess we’ll just have to pass it to find out what’s in it. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    • Aynwrong

      Ahh… I see what you did there.