Cornyn: GOP has the votes to pass tax reform, likely to happen before Friday is out

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Friday December 01st, 2017

Crunch time.

Apparently Ron Johnson and Steve Daines won the concessions they wanted on pass-through businesses, and the GOP leadership thinks that's enough to put the bill over the top. Does anyone have any doubts where Mike Pence is today? Look for a vote before close of business today:

A key Republican, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, says he’s backing the sweeping GOP tax bill. That’s according to an aide.

Johnson’s support for the legislation is a major boost for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as he tries to muscle the measure through the Senate.

GOP leaders hope to vote on Friday and send the measure to a House-Senate conference to work out the differences. They want to deliver a bill to President Donald Trump by Christmas.

In a radio interview with WISN in Wisconsin, Johnson said he secured changes in the bill on the taxes paid by businesses and is now a yes on the legislation.

At issue were millions of businesses whose owners report the firm’s profits on their individual tax returns. The vast majority of U.S. businesses are taxed this way.

Johnson and Daines were concerned that small business owners who pay the individual rate on business income (like me) would get stuck paying the much higher rate of 39.6 percent if they earned more than $250,000 a year, compared with the 20 percent corporate rate. I'm not sure what type of fix they got into the bill so I'll keep looking around for that. The easiest thing to do would be to simply give such business owners the option without requiring them to change the form of corporation they chose. Hopefully it's something like that and not something that ate away at the basic pro-growth structure of the bill.

GDP growth for Obama's final year? A measly 1.6 percent

I'm still not sure how they're at 50 yet, though. Assuming John McCain is a yes as he said he is yesterday, that still leaves Susan Collins, Bob Corker and Jeff Flake uncommitted. Corker and Flake wanted to build in a potential automatic increase in the corporate tax if growth estimates don't yield the revenue that's expected. I hope they weren't given that, because it's terrible policy. If growth is hurting at some point in the future the worst thing you can do is raise the corporate tax rate.

Corker actually has experience as a business owner and it's stunning he doesn't understand that. 

Anyway, I guess Cornyn knows why he sees the whip count at 50. I just hope they didn't ruin the bill to get there.

We'll keep an eye on this all day.

Dan's new novel, BACKSTOP, is a story of spiritual warfare and baseball. Download it from Amazon here!