GOP In Panic Mode Over Tax Bill

By on November 29, 2017
The GOP tax plan has drawn loud protest.

The GOP had hoped to push a rushed tax reform bill by the end of the week, but as of Tuesday it looks like they are employing a last-ditch effort to revise the bill for fear they won’t have enough votes in the Senate to pass it.

One of the major voices pushing to revise the legislation is Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) who is trying to put in a “trigger” clause to undo some of the tax cuts if it’s shown that they don’t produce the kind of growth needed to offset the losses in revenue.

“That way you’re in a situation where you’re not creating deficits, should the projections laid out not be real,” said Corker. “We’ve been working throughout the entire Thanksgiving break on it, working closely with the administration, and some members of the Finance Committee to design a trigger or a backstop—in the event the revenues are not there, there’s a way to recoup them.”

Some of the last-minute changes, however, aren’t just about protecting the federal budget. According to the Washington Post, some of the new language could be particularly advantageous to President Trump.

The changes focus on “pass-through” entities, companies that direct income through the individual income tax code and not the corporate tax code. There are millions of these entities, and they are most often sole proprietorships, limited liability companies or partnerships. Trump’s stakes in these entities include many large and small ventures, including the Trump Organization.

Trump’s 2005 tax return showed that he had more than $109 million in income from businesses, partnerships and pass-through entities, although he has not released updated figures, so the precise impact is not known.

It’s an odd play for the GOP given that its relationship to the president is the thing that got it trounced in Virginia and other key races across the country earlier this month. If they pass a tax bill that would personally benefit Trump, it will only strengthen the Democratic opposition’s argument against GOP governance in 2018 midterm races nationwide.