Senate Republicans push tax Bill forward

WASHINGTON • US Senate Republicans rammed forward President Donald Trump's tax-cut Bill in an abrupt, partisan committee vote that set up a full vote by the Senate as soon as today, although some details of the measure remained unsettled.

As protesters shouted "Kill the Bill, don't kill us" in a Capitol Hill hearing room, the Senate Budget Committee, with no discussion, quickly approved the legislation on Tuesday on a 12-11 party-line vote.

Republican committee members quickly left the room after the vote, as Democrats complained about a lack of discussion on a Bill that would overhaul the US tax code and add an estimated US$1.4 trillion (S$1. 9 trillion) to the US$20 trillion national debt over 10 years.

After the vote, Mr Trump told reporters: "I think we are going to get it passed."

Republicans are hurrying to move their complex tax legislation forward, hoping to avoid the protracted infighting that doomed their effort to repeal Obamacare four months ago.

If the Senate approves the tax measure, it would need to be reconciled with a version already approved by the House.

Republican leaders conceded that they had yet to round up the votes needed for passage in the Senate, where they hold a narrow 52-48 majority.

Democrats have called the Republican tax plan a giveaway to corporations and the rich.

The Senate Bill would slash the corporate tax rate to 20 per cent, from 35 per cent, after a one-year delay. It would impose a one-time, cut-rate tax on corporations' foreign profits, while exempting future foreign profits from US taxation.

Tax rates for many individuals and families would also be cut temporarily before rising back to their previous levels in 2025.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 30, 2017, with the headline 'Senate Republicans push tax Bill forward'. Print Edition | Subscribe