President Trump held an event this week in Harrisburg, PA, to emphasize the need for massive tax cuts, while Senate Republicans will try to clear a major legislative hurdle with next week’s vote on their budget resolution.
During a speech to truckers in Harrisburg, Trump said workers could see an additional $4,000 in pay if Congress enacts the tax plan he and Republican leaders are working to enact. “You’re going to make more money, you’re going to do better than ever before,” Trump told the audience.
Many Democrats dispute Trump’s claim that tax reform will help the middle class. “Congressional Republicans are not pursuing tax reform, just a massive tax giveaway to the super-rich at the expense of the middle class,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) this week. “Let’s pass a real tax reform bill that actually helps the middle class and our communities that are still struggling.”
In order to pave the way for tax reform, Senate Republicans will need to pass a budget resolution that would allow tax cuts to raise the deficit by as much as $1.5 trillion over 10 years. Republicans hold 52 seats in the Senate so Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) can only afford to lose two GOP votes and pass the budget resolution. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has been a critic of the budget resolution because it raises the deficit, and Trump has publicly feuded in recent days with Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who is considered a key vote. Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and John McCain (R-AZ) are others whose support for the budget is uncertain.
The House has already passed a budget resolution that is far more conservative than the one being considered in the Senate but House leaders have said they are confident they can work out the differences in conference.
Speaking at a Heritage Foundation event earlier today, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said tax writers are on track to get a tax bill through the House in November, but said he will keep the House in session through Christmas if they have not advanced a tax bill before then.
“We’re going to keep people here for Christmas if we have to,” Ryan said. “I don’t care. We have to get this done…If we squander this opportunity, it’s not going to come back.”
ASAE is closely following the tax reform process and advocating against provisions to change the tax treatment of some association revenue-generating activities. While tax-exempt organizations haven’t been a big focus of conversations to date, there are tax counsels on Capitol Hill who are reviewing provisions in the 2014 discussion draft released by former Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) that would have taxed association royalty income and certain qualified sponsorship payments.