Sneaky Trump Has Not Signed His Tax Bill Yet (Video)

Sneaky Trump Has Not Signed His Tax Bill for a Reason

Mystery solved: Here’s the shady reason Trump hasn’t signed the tax bill yet

Posted by NowThis Politics on Thursday, December 21, 2017

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No tax cuts for Christmas? Trump might delay bill signing

President Donald Trump may wait until next year to sign the tax bill into law, delaying $120 billion in automatic cuts
STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, The Associated Press
Published: December 20, 2017, 7:34 pm Updated: December 21, 2017, 10:32 am
WASHINGTON (AP) — Celebrations aside, President Donald Trump may wait until next year to sign the tax bill into law, delaying $120 billion in automatic cuts to popular programs such as Medicare and sparing Republicans from having to explain them in an election year.
Here’s why: If Trump signs the tax bill this month, it could trigger steep automatic spending cuts early next year to a raft of programs. But if Trump waits until January to sign the bill, the spending cuts would be delayed until 2019 — after next year’s congressional elections — giving lawmakers a full year to prevent them.
Congress gave final approval to the $1.5 trillion tax package Wednesday, sending it to Trump.
The bill-signing delay wouldn’t affect taxpayers. The tax cuts would still go into effect in January, and workers would still start to see changes in the amount of taxes withheld from their paychecks in February.
The delay, however, is another example of how politicians from both major parties routinely flout a law that was meant to instill fiscal discipline on Washington. The arcane budget law is called Paygo, or pay-as-you-go.
Years ago, Congress approved the law imposing steep automatic spending cuts whenever Congress passes legislation that adds to the nation’s growing debt. But the automatic spending cuts, which have been around since Ronald Reagan was president, have never been enforced.
Republicans want to add a provision to a year-end spending bill that would waive the Paygo law, but they need help from Democrats to do it.
“So, a crude tool designed to prod Congress to face up to its fiscal responsibilities now goes the way of the dinosaur,” Bill Hoagland, a former Senate Republican aide, wrote in an op-ed in Roll Call.
Despite Republican claims otherwise, the tax bill would add billions to the nation’s debt — more than $1 trillion over the next decade, according to official congressional estimates.
If the Paygo law is waived, Trump can sign the tax bill as soon as it reaches his desk without worrying about the automatic spending cuts.
But if the law isn’t waived, and Trump signs the bill this month, he would be required to issue an order to cut about $120 billion in spending in early 2018, said Hoagland, who is now a senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center.
The Paygo law was meant to be painful: The cuts would target specific programs, including Medicare, price supports for farmers, a fund for crime victims and subsidies for affordable housing, Hoagland said.
If Trump waits until January to sign the tax bill, the automatic spending cuts would be delayed until 2019, giving lawmakers time to waive the Paygo law, said Ed Lorenzen, a former Democratic aide who is now a senior adviser for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
“That means Congress wouldn’t have to do anything to prevent it from taking effect until the end of next year,” Lorenzen said.
Trump’s top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, said the president would like to sign the tax bill as soon as possible.
“If we can get Paygo waived in the (spending bill), we will sign the tax bill this year,” Cohn said Wednesday at an event sponsored by Axios. “The president would like to sign the tax bill.”

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Republicans rewriting tax bill — with fight pushed into Friday

Republicans rewriting tax bill — with fight pushed into Friday
Senate GOP leaders are still making major changes to the plan in order to win over several hold-outs.

By SEUNG MIN KIM and COLIN WILHELM

11/30/2017 10:59 AM EST

Updated 11/30/2017 10:12 PM EST
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Senate Republicans are still scrambling to win over enough votes to pass their massive tax code overhaul, with major changes to the bill still up in the air and debate pushed into Friday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the next vote in the tax debate will come at 11 a.m. Friday, as work continues behind the scenes to win over skeptical deficit hawks and other swing votes.

Multiple GOP senators leaving the chamber after a dramatic late afternoon vote said a key proposal for deficit hawks — a trigger to raise tax rates if sufficient economic growth did not materialize — would not pass procedural muster and would need to find something else to satisfy the bloc of deficit hawk holdouts, led by Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.).

“It doesn’t look like the trigger is going to work, according to the parliamentarian,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said. “So we have an alternative, frankly: a tax increase we don’t want to do to try to address Sen. Corker’s concerns.”

Corker told reporters: “My understanding is, that the parliamentarian has ruled against it so they’re just going to automatically put [tax increases] in, period.” Corker and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said the revenue raised with tax increases — which senators say would kick in six years after the enactment of the tax legislation — would total about $350 billion, although Cornyn suggested that figure may need to go higher.

Late Thursday, Republicans huddled with leadership and tax policy staff to work on a solution.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), who supports the current package, estimated that Republicans needed to find an additional $370 billion to $400 billion within their package to placate concerns about increased deficits.

“What we’re trying to do right now is get to the point where nobody’s going to get exactly what they want but enough for us to get the bill passed,” he told reporters.

The sudden need to regroup came after extended drama on the Senate floor Thursday during an otherwise mundane procedural vote, when Corker, Flakeand Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) initially withheld their support on a vote to move forward with the bill. Ultimately they aligned with their party, but it suggested real concerns remained, including friction among Republicans over whether to stick to the 20 percent corporate tax rate rate insisted on by the White House.

Johnson withheld his vote during the standoff in exchange for votes on his amendments, including one that would further increase a tax deduction for pass-through businesses to around 25 percent.

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The legislation would slash the corporate tax rate and lower rates for many, though not all, individuals. Senate Republicans have said their plan would boost the economy but not by nearly as much as some lawmakers hope, a new official analysis shows.

The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation said Thursday that the GOP plan would fall well short of covering its $1.5 trillion cost through additional economic growth; it predicted $407 billion in additional revenue would come in by boosting the economy by 0.8 percent over the next decade.

That would mean a $1 trillion deficit increase, which is problematic for lawmakers like Corker, who has said he would vote against a tax bill that increased the deficit. A Senate Finance Committee aide noted that the analysis was “incomplete” since the bill text has yet to be finalized.

Democrats have blasted Republicans for rushing the bill to the floor while considering significant eleventh-hour changes to the sprawling tax code rewrite.

“This is tax, one of the most complicated issues before us,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the floor Thursday. “These changes and the way the majority leader is handling this make it impossible for any independent analyst to get a good look at the bill and how it would impact our country.”

Yet, Sen. John McCain, who gave Republicans a boost earlier in the day when he broke his long silence and said he would back the legislation, signaled he was satisfied with the process, noting the bill went through “a thorough mark-up in the Senate Finance Committee.”

The Arizona Republican, who helped tank the party’s Obamacare repeal efforts earlier this year, had said going through a regular legislative process was one of his major concerns.

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But it was clear Senate Republicans still have myriad issues to resolve in order to lock down at least 50 votes to ensure final passage of the tax bill on the floor. Republicans are using powerful budget procedures to evade a Democratic filibuster.

Other key GOP votes such as Corker, Flake and Susan Collins of Maine have yet to commit to the bill, for varying reasons. And Johnson and Steve Daines of Montana are trying to secure even more generous treatment of small businesses after extracting a boost in an earlier round of negotiations.

Collins plans to offer a half-dozen amendments, including one that would hike the proposed corporate tax rate of 20 percent to restore a deduction for up to $10,000 for property taxes. She is among a handful of Republican senators who say they are open to raising the proposed corporate rate in order to fund other tax provisions in the bill.

The moderate senator is also seeking to extract some health care assurances because the current tax bill repeals Obamacare’s requirement that everyone carry insurance or pay a penalty. She has pushed for two separate health care bills — one to stabilize the markets and another to protect pre-existing conditions and use high-risk pools — to be grafted to a short-term spending bill that would need to pass before government funding expires Dec. 8.

Conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus, a group of about 40 Republicans that frequently buck their party’s leadership, rejected the notion of supporting those health care bills.

 

7 key players on tax reform and how they could stop the bill

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Members of the group also said they opposed amendments that would raise the proposed corporate income tax rate above 20 percent, and bristled at the idea of a delayed cut, which the Senate’s bill does largely due to budgetary rules.

“It’s a great strategy if you’re looking to put the Democrats in the majority and give them credit for what we did,” Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said of the Senate’s proposed one-year delay to a corporate tax cut.

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