The Senate GOP tax bill cleared a major procedural hurdle on an expected party-line vote Wednesday, starting the clock on a lengthy debate that could last ‘until the end of the week or longer.
Republicans fell into line behind their leadership and voted to take up the controversial GOP tax reform bill that boosts several ag-related breaks, including those for small businesses and estates. Democrats, including those from ‘red’ states, voted against consideration, arguing the bill would help only the rich and corporations.
Moderate Democrats demurred when asked Tuesday if they’d simply vote for a ‘motion to proceed’ to the tax bill…
“We haven’t seen the final version, we really haven’t. Let me say this, we have reached out, we want to find an agreement.”
But West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and other ‘red state’ moderate Democrats are caught between their Senate leader’s liberal base and their own home state conservative bases.
And then there are moderates from ‘blue states,’ including Delaware’s Tom Carper, who opposed the GOP bill in committee but sees some areas of common ground…
“One of those is doubling the standard deduction. And then it would not only help lower to middle income people, but also help with simplification. That would be a good one.”
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell called for the vote to take up the tax bill…
“This is our chance. This is our chance to deliver relief to the people that sent us here. And the way we can do that is by voting to proceed to the bill.”
The motion’s approval cleared the way for twenty-hours of general debate and several more on amendments, with the possibility of end-of-the week Senate approval. The House could either accept the Senate bill or negotiate a compromise with the Senate.