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Sen. Coons: Tax Reform Passage More Likely After Committee Action

Image: Sen. Coons: Tax Reform Passage More Likely After Committee Action
(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 29 November 2017 09:41 AM

The vote on tax reform legislation now seems more likely, considering two members of the Senate Finance Committee who have voiced questions about the bill still voted it out of committee, Sen. Chris Coons said Wednesday.

"I hope not, but that certainly seems more likely, after it advanced through the Budget Committee," the Delaware Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. 

"I'll remind you and our viewers that there are still significant differences between the Senate version and the House version that will have to be worked out."

The bill came out of committee Tuesday afternoon after being approved by a 12-11 party line that included yes votes from Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who has said he was reluctant to vote for the Senate bill because of his concerns about deficit levels, and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., wants to reduce the tax burden on pass-through businesses, which pay individual rates.

"As the Republicans barrel towards trying to deliver on President [Donald] Trump's Christmas promise of a big gift to the American people. I'm struck at the difference between what President Trump campaigned on, a real middle class tax cut, and what this tax bill seems to be, which is something that will add $1.5 trillion to our deficits and debt and that overwhelmingly favors the wealthiest Americans and the most profitable corporations," Coons commented.

Corker and other fiscal conservatives are trying to add a trigger mechanism into the bill that will roll back some of the bigger tax cuts, if the growth that is promised does not materialize, Coons noted, but that might be "too little, too late."

"That might be too little, too late to fix the hole in our annual budget that would be caused by this bill, but I at least commend Sen. Corker for trying to slow down this hurdling train and look at it and try to fix it," said Coons.

Meanwhile, the last time tax reform legislation passed 30 years ago under then-President Ronald Reagan, there were "dozens of hearings," and it was a "truly bipartisan and revenue neutral," said Coons.

This time around, there have been no public hearings, he added.

"It was introduced and rushed immediately to markup," the Delaware lawmaker said. "There was a finance committee markup but there were no hearings. So, actually understanding what's in this package is something that will only be known once it's passed.

"When one party tries to ram through a big piece of legislation without including the other, without public hearings the results don't usually turn out as well, as hopeful or as expected."

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The vote on tax reform legislation now seems more likely, considering two members of the Senate Finance Committee who have voiced questions about the bill still voted it out of committee, Sen. Chris Coons said Wednesday.
coons, tax reform, passage, likely
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2017-41-29
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 09:41 AM
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