Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate

Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
Sen. John McCain(R-Ariz.) speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 1, 2017. Republican leaders said on Friday that they have enough votes to pass the Republican tax bill along party lines after last-minute changes brought wavering senators on board. (Justin Gilliland/The New York Times)

WASHINGTON — The Senate is on the cusp of passing its sweeping tax overhaul, with Republican leaders saying on Friday that they have enough votes to pass the bill along party lines after last-minute changes brought wavering senators on board.

Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, told reporters that “we have the votes” and that the Senate would vote later in the day on a bill whose final contents were still not publicly known.

Republican leaders said they have agreed to a host of tweaks, including a provision that would allow taxpayers to deduct up to $10,000 in state and local property taxes paid, a change that had been pushed by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine. Lawmakers also plan to sweeten the tax break for companies organized as pass-through entities, a provision needed to win the support of Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Steve Daines of Montana.

And, in a bid to get Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona on board, leaders agreed to work on providing “fair and permanent protections” for the beneficiaries of an Obama-era effort that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, Flake said in a statement. Flake also said he had won changes in a provision, which expires after five years, to allow companies to immediately deduct new investment expenses, which he called a “gimmick.”

The changes did not appear to include anything to assuage Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, whose concerns over the bill’s effect on the federal budget deficit delayed a vote on the package on Thursday. Flake had shared those concerns, but on Friday, after winning the DACA pledge and the change in investment expensing, he said “I am pleased to announce I will vote in support the tax reform bill.”

Corker and Flake had pushed to scale back the tax cuts in the wake of a report from the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation that projected the bill would add $1 trillion to deficits over the course of a decade, even after accounting for economic growth. Their insistence angered many Republican colleagues who do not want to reduce the $1.4 trillion tax cut package.

Republicans discussed several possibilities for changing the bill to address their concerns, including gradually raising the corporate tax rate in later years in order to save as much as $500 billion. On Friday, they decided against those changes.

Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
From left: Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) head to the Senate floor, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 1, 2017. Senate Republicans once again appeared to have the momentum to pass their sweeping tax bill after party leaders picked up the votes of three holdouts. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
A congressional staffer caries a sign into the Senate chamber for use as a visual aid by Democratic lawmakers during debate on tax legislation at the Capitol on Dec. 1, 2017. Senate Republicans once again appeared to have the momentum to pass their sweeping tax bill after party leaders picked up the votes of three holdouts. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) exits the Senate floor during debate over tax legislation on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 30, 2017. Republicans moved closer to a Senate victory on their tax plan on Thursday, securing a critical swing vote as key details remained in flux just hours ahead of a floor vote. (Zach Gibson/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
Tyler Sheets, an electrician, at a trade center in Massillon, Ohio, Nov. 30, 2017. As Republicans in Washington tout a tax plan, Ohio voters are gripped by ambivalence and confusion that could yield unpredictable political results. “Nothing has really happened to make me think, man I need my taxes reformed,” Sheets said. (Maddie McGarvey/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) takes an elevator as Republicans worked on their tax legislation, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 1, 2017. Cornyn, the No. 2 Senate Republican, said on Friday morning that Republicans had the 50 votes they need to pass the tax bill after several holdouts indicated their support. (Tom Brenner/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer,(D-N.Y.) speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 1, 2017. Republican leaders said on Friday that they have enough votes to pass the Republican tax bill along party lines after last-minute changes brought wavering senators on board. (Justin Gilliland/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) talks to reporters en route to the Senate floor, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 1, 2017. Senate Republicans once again appeared to have the momentum to pass their sweeping tax bill after party leaders picked up the votes of three holdouts. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
An American flag flies in a neighborhood in Canton, Ohio, Nov. 10, 2016. As Republicans in Washington tout a tax plan in 2017, Ohio voters are gripped by ambivalence and confusion that could yield unpredictable political results. (Maddie McGarvey/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) takes the Capitol Hill subway as Republicans worked on their tax legislation, in Washington, Dec. 1, 2017. The Senate on Friday was on the verge of passing the Republicans’ sweeping tax legislation with several holdouts now throwing their support behind the bill. (Tom Brenner/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 1, 2017. Republican leaders said on Friday that they have enough votes to pass the Republican tax bill along party lines after last-minute changes brought wavering senators on board. (Justin Gilliland/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Stefanie Muchow, his director of operations, head to the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 1, 2017. Senate Republicans once again appeared to have the momentum to pass their sweeping tax bill after party leaders picked up the votes of three holdouts. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) takes the Capitol Hill subway as Republicans worked on their tax legislation, in Washington, Dec. 1, 2017. The Senate on Friday was on the verge of passing the Republicans’ sweeping tax legislation with Collins and several holdouts now throwing their support behind the bill. (Tom Brenner/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 1, 2017. Republican leaders said on Friday that they have enough votes to pass the Republican tax bill along party lines after last-minute changes brought wavering senators on board. (Justin Gilliland/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), center, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 1, 2017. Senate Republicans once again appeared to have the momentum to pass their sweeping tax bill after party leaders picked up the votes of three holdouts. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
Protesters opposed to the Republican tax plan rally outside the Capitol in Washington, Nov. 30, 2017. It remains to be seen whether the Republican push to sharply cut corporate taxes will spare them from an emerging political backlash that was evident in Democratic election victories around the country last month. (Zach Gibson/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 1, 2017. Republican leaders said on Friday that they have enough votes to pass the Republican tax bill along party lines after last-minute changes brought wavering senators on board. (Justin Gilliland/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) and an aide walk through the Capitol as Republicans senators worked behind the scenes on a tax proposal, in Washington, Dec. 1, 2017. The Senate on Friday appeared on the cusp of passing the most sweeping tax rewrite in generations, with the biggest benefits flowing to the highest-earning Americans. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) carries a pizza on Capitol Hill as Republicans worked on their tax legislation, in Washington, Dec. 1, 2017. The Senate on Friday was on the verge of passing the Republicans’ sweeping tax legislation with several holdouts now throwing their support behind the bill. (Tom Brenner/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
Gerry Noble, an electrician who voted for Donald Trump, at his home in Louisville, Ohio, Nov. 29, 2017. As Republicans in Washington tout a tax plan, Ohio voters are gripped by ambivalence and confusion that could yield unpredictable political results. “We are focusing too much on this tax thing, frankly,” Noble said. (Maddie McGarvey/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) discuss the federal debt at a news conference in Washington, Feb. 14, 2011. Ryan has for years assiduously cultivated a reputation for concern about the federal debt. Now, almost every Republican in Congress is set to vote for a tax plan that would cause a dangerous increase in debt. (Stephen Crowley/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 1, 2017. Republican leaders said on Friday that they have enough votes to pass the Republican tax bill along party lines after last-minute changes brought wavering senators on board. (Justin Gilliland/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
From left: Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Luther Strange (R-Ala.) head to the Senate floor, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 1, 2017. Senate Republicans once again appeared to have the momentum to pass their sweeping tax bill after party leaders picked up the votes of three holdouts, including Flake. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 1, 2017. Senate Republicans once again appeared to have the momentum to pass their sweeping tax bill after party leaders picked up the votes of three holdouts. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 1, 2017. Republican leaders said on Friday that they have enough votes to pass the Republican tax bill along party lines after last-minute changes brought wavering senators on board. (Justin Gilliland/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 1, 2017. Republican leaders said on Friday that they have enough votes to pass the Republican tax bill along party lines after last-minute changes brought wavering senators on board. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times)
Fast-Changing Tax Bill Is Set to Clear the Senate
Pat Turk, a beauty college instructor, sits in the school in Canton, Ohio, Nov. 30, 2017. As Republicans in Washington tout a tax plan, Ohio voters are gripped by ambivalence and confusion that could yield unpredictable political results. “I heard a few things on the news, but you have trouble understanding it all,” Turk said. (Maddie McGarvey/The New York Times)
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