The Senate will take up a final tax reform bill on Monday and pass it on Tuesday before sending the measure to be cleared by the House for President Trump’s signature next week, Republican leaders said.
“That’s the goal,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, told the Washington Examiner.
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, told the Washington Examiner that the GOP is “in good shape” to pass the bill by Tuesday with at least 51 votes, and he is still hopeful Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the only holdout on the initial Senate plan, may also vote for it.
The Senate can pass a the tax bill, which will be in the form of a conference report, after ten hours of debate with 51 votes, circumventing what will likely be unanimous opposition from Democrats. The GOP could pass the bill with just 50 votes and have Vice President Pence break the tie, but he is expected to be traveling next week, and Republicans on Wednesday think they will not need Pence's help.
House and Senate Republicans on Wednesday announced they have struck a deal on a compromise bill that blends House and Senate tax reform measures.
The compromise lowers the top individual tax rate to 37 percent, and reduces the corporate rate to 21 percent instead of 20 percent, and makes that change effective in 2018. The bill also gives flexibility for people to deduct either their property or their state and local income taxes.
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who was seeking an expansion of small business tax breaks, said he is pleased with the changes made in conference.
“There is no doubt about whatever will emerge will be very pro-growth and that has always been the overall goal not only of myself, but the entire conference,” Johnson said. “I have no complaints about the final package.”
Republicans were briefed on the agreement in a closed-door lunch Wednesday afternoon. Corker told reporters after the briefing he is undecided. Corker voted against the initial Senate bill mainly because it did not include a way to raise revenue if the tax breaks end up increasing the deficit.
"What I’d like to do is take all this in and related it to my other concerns,” Corker said. House Republican leaders told rank-and-file lawmakers to expect consideration of the tax bill as early as next Tuesday.