President Trump invited bipartisan members of the Senate Finance Committee (SFC) to the White House on October 18 for a meeting on tax reform. Democratic members invited included SFC ranking member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
Bipartisan Senate Finance Members
Trump has recently been looking to garner Democratic support for his unified tax reform plan with GOP leaders. “I have had people on both sides—and I promise not to mention the name of the people on the other sides—or names—but a lot of people are liking this very much, and I think we’ll have tremendous support,” Trump told reporters before the meeting started.
Tax Reform Proposal
Listing a few details from the proposal, Trump said the tax reform plan would cut the corporate tax rate to no more than 20 percent. The Trump/GOP Framework notes that special rules would give pass-through businesses a top tax rate of 25 percent. “We’re cutting taxes on small businesses to the lowest rate in more than 80 years,” Trump said. “For 30-million Americans who own small businesses it will be a 40-percent tax cut…,” he added.
Small Business Owners
Vice President Pence, also spoke of tax reform and tax cuts for small businesses on October 18 in Lancaster, N.Y. with community participants. “Too often, small-business owners that file their taxes as individuals pay the highest rate of 39.6 percent. We’re going to lower that tax rate to 25 percent for pass-through companies; that will be the lowest tax rate on small businesses since 1931,” Pence said.
Budget Debate Continues
Meanwhile, the Senate continued debate on the fiscal year 2018 budget resolution that Republicans intend to use as the legislative vehicle for tax reform. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., criticized the budget resolution in an October 18 press conference the same day. “This is a budget that would provide 80 percent of its tax breaks to the top 1 percent; 40 percent of its tax breaks to the top one-tenth of 1 percent…this is a budget that must be defeated,” Schumer said.
A floor vote in the Senate is expected on the budget on October 19, where full Republican support remains questionable and all Democratic senators are expected to vote no. Tax reform is unlikely to advance if the Senate cannot pass the budget resolution, according to several lawmakers, including SFC Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah.
By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Staff