Trump Pushes for Tax Overhaul as Key Senate Votes Loom

Marsha Scott
November 29, 2017

Collins said Trump and Senate GOP leaders agreed to amend the bill to allow homeowners to deduct up to $10,000 in property taxes, which is similar to a provision in the House-passed bill.

Republican Senator Susan Collins of ME has said she backs two provisions in the House bill - retaining an individual income tax deduction for state and local property taxes, capped at $10,000 a year, and keeping the existing top individual tax rate of 39.6 percent for those making $1 million or more.

President Donald Trump personally lobbied Republican senators at the Capitol on Tuesday and the bill passed with little fanfare other than a few protesters who tried to disrupt the vote.

Congress' top Democratic leaders abruptly pulled out of a planned meeting with Trump and Republican leaders at the White House on Tuesday after Trump attacked them on Twitter.

Spokespeople for the Senate Finance Committee, which drafted the bill, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

If the Senate approves its proposal, the two chambers would have to reach an accord before final votes on an identical measure and then send it to Trump for his signature. Ron Johnson and Bob Corker, both members of the Budget Committee, said on Monday they would not vote for the bill without changes.

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Senator Cory Gardner, a Colorado Republican, said he plans an amendment to make marijuana businesses eligible for tax breaks.

He said, "We're going to let the Senate process go forward, encourage the Senate to deliver a good pro-growth product".

Collins may also insist on eliminating the bill's repeal of the Obamacare mandate that most individuals get insurance or pay a penalty.

Amid the drama of a quintessential Washington cliffhanger Tuesday, it was unclear whether the uncertainty was typical of habitual deal-making and brinkmanship over the fate of a major bill, or whether tax reform measure, a hugely significant political lift for Republicans was actually in trouble.

The current Senate bill repeals the entire state and local tax deduction, which helps more than 43 million families reduce their federal tax bills. The Tax Cut Bill is getting better and better. Most individual tax breaks provided in the Senate bill would expire to avoid creating a long-term deficit increase, while corporate reductions would be permanent.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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