McConnell: Tax bill won't add to nation's debt woes

Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mc Connell, alongside US Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming and US Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah speaks after a meeting between US President Donald Trump and the Republican Senate Caucu

Following the U.S. Senate's vote to move forward with a major overhaul of the tax system, the U.S. bishops labeled both the House and Senate bills as "fundamentally flawed" and urged congress to make major changes during the reconciliation process.

"When you look at the differences, they're not that big, but there are some key significant differences that the House and Senate need to work out", Scalise said Sunday. Bob Corker of Tennessee was the only Republican to vote against the bill, citing deficit concerns.

The bill would lower tax rates for individuals through 2025 and permanently cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent.

Besides having obvious issues with the content of the bill, Senate Democrats were incensed by the rushed way it was passed. The final hurdle is resolving differences between House and Senate versions of the legislation before it can go to President Donald Trump for his signature.

Texas conservative Ted Cruz said Republicans debated Thursday whether to include any trigger or additional revenues in the bill, and that his view against doing so prevailed.

But leaders instead wooed other hold-outs one-by-one with pledges to boost benefits for small businesses and partially restore a state and local property tax deduction, among other changes.

On the individual side of the tax code, the top tax rate paid by the highest-income earners would be cut slightly.

The Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank, analyzed an earlier but broadly similar version of the bill passed by the Senate tax committee on November 16 and found it would reduce taxes for all income groups in 2019 and 2025, with the largest average tax cuts going to the highest-income Americans.

Republican leaders can afford two defections from their 52-member conference to pass the legislation under fast-track rules, assuming no Democrats support it.

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