Tea-Publicans return to Congress today facing a packed agenda with little time to enact it, as GOP leaders aim to quickly pass their “tax cuts for corporations and plutocrats” bill, and then turn to a budget deal with Democrats before midnight on Friday to avert a government shutdown. GOP faces 5-day scramble to pass tax bill, avoid government shutdown:
Republicans’ tight timing on taxes is self-imposed. GOP lawmakers have for months been racing to meet President Trump’s demand that they send him tax legislation before Christmas — a timeline that gained new urgency when Alabama Democrat Doug Jones won the Senate seat currently occupied by Sen. Luther Strange (R).
GOP leaders hope to hold tax votes early in the week before moving to the budget bill. They need Democrats’ help to pass the budget measure through the Senate, and thus far they have made little progress bringing them aboard amid disagreements over spending levels, protection from deportation for certain undocumented immigrants (DACA) and a federal health insurance program for low-income children (CHIP).
The outcome of the tax votes, however, appears certain after Republican Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.) on Friday pledged their support. The two gave the GOP the Senate votes to pass the bill, even as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who is battling an aggressive form of brain cancer, returned to Arizona on Sunday. He is not expected to vote on the final bill.
The tax measure’s passage would mark the first major legislative “accomplishment” — defined as actually passing a bill, a low bar — for Trump and GOP leaders in a year of stumbles, the products of months of negotiations and late adjustments aimed at winning over the last holdouts.
It’s only an “accomplishment” for the oligarchy, not the American people:
Congress’ nonpartisan tax analysts, joining several other nonpartisan assessments, concluded that the bulk of the bill’s benefits would go to the wealthy and corporations. Those analyses have also projected that the cuts will produce far less economic growth than Trump and administration officials are promising.