US

Senator McCain Gives Senate a Green Light on Tax Bill

By Emel Akan

Tax Reform has gained momentum after Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) announced that he would back the Senate’s bill, giving Republicans a sigh of relief.

“After careful thought and consideration, I have decided to support the Senate tax reform bill,” he said in a statement on Nov. 30.

“I believe this legislation, though far from perfect, would enhance American competitiveness, boost the economy, and provide long overdue tax relief for middle class families.”

The news from Capitol Hill sent the stock market to record highs. The Dow Jones industrial average closed above the 24,000 mark for the first time and the S&P 500 closed at a record high on Nov. 30.

In September, McCain had opposed the Republican plan to repeal Obamacare, hence his support is considered crucial in getting the tax bill over the finish line.

“By lowering our high corporate tax rate to 20 percent, the bill would make our markets far more attractive for investment,” McCain stated.

He praised his Senate colleagues for following the normal legislative process, with “several hearings and a thorough mark-up in the Senate Finance Committee during which more than 350 amendments were filed and 69 received a vote.”

Regarding the impact of the bill on the deficit, McCain said the bill’s net effect on the U.S. economy would be positive.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed its sweeping tax bill on Nov. 16, and the Senate is expected to vote on its bill on Dec. 1.

Should the Senate bill pass, the two bills will have to be reconciled. A conference committee will draft a compromise bill that both houses could accept.

House Republican leaders have scheduled a vote for Dec. 4 to go to conference with the Senate on the tax bill.

President Donald Trump is confident that the chambers will work out their differences. Despite a short timeline, he pledges to deliver tax reform as a Christmas gift to Americans.

“This week, hopefully, the Senate can join the House and take that strong stand for middle-class families and for business, and for jobs, and for competition, and for bringing money back,” Trump said in St. Charles, Missouri on Nov.29.

“Together, we will give the American people a big, beautiful Christmas present.”

According to Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, both the House bill and the Senate bill, despite their differences, meet the three main objectives set by the president. Those three, non-negotiable objectives are a 20 percent corporate tax rate, a big middle-class tax cut, and a simplified tax code, he said during a press briefing at the White House on Nov. 17.

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