Senate leaders are still working on changes to the GOP tax bill, but key holdouts are falling in line in support of the effort and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) predicted earlier today that he will hold a final vote on the bill either tonight or Friday morning.
In the meantime, senators continue to advocate for inclusion of various amendments. McConnell can afford to lose only two Republican votes if the bill is to pass and move to a conference with the House.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said earlier today he will support the bill, ending speculation that he might buck party leadership as he did with the Obamacare repeal effort this year. Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mike Lee (R-UT) are pushing to raise the corporate tax rate from 20 percent to 22 percent to pay for an expanded, refundable child tax credit. Collins also has a commitment from Senate leadership and President Trump to at least match the House provision on state and local tax deductions, which allows up to a $10,000 write-off on property taxes.
A “trigger” provision that could automatically increase taxes if economic growth predictions aren’t met is another controversial addition to the Senate bill but one that is apparently necessary if Republicans like Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) are to vote in favor of the package. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is another Republican offering conditional support if Senate leaders agree to increase the tax deduction for pass-through businesses.
Of note for ASAE and other associations, the latest amendment tracker for the Senate bill includes a change to strike a provision that would tax royalty income from the licensing of an organization’s name and logo. ASAE and others have been pushing hard for this provision to be removed from the bill. However, because the bill is very much in flux and changes are still being made, we encourage anyone concerned about this provision to continue to make their voices heard.