Tax Reform bill awaits changes, votes in Senate today

WASHINGTON – The United States Senate will resume voting on a sweeping overhaul of the United States tax system this morning, after a procedural glitch held up votes last night.

The procedural glitch arose around provisions by a small group of Senators that seek to ensure that the bill does not increase the federal debt. After an updated report showed a $1 trillion increase to the national debt over the coming decade (pdf), producing an increase of 0.8 percent in economic growth, a small group of Senators sought provisions that would ensure the debt is not allowed to increase by adding a “trigger” mechanism which would adjust tax rates in the event of a shortfall or recession.

However, the Senate Parliamentarian said the “trigger” language did not pass muster, sending Senate Republicans back to the drawing board on the proposal.

There are numerous amendment proposals floating around and on the floor. Senator Susan Collins has four amendments proposed ranging from a change to a child tax credit to allowing government employees make catch-up payments to their retirement plans. On the other side of the aisle Senator Angus King attempted a procedural maneuver to send the bill back to committee in what was essentially an effort to smother the bill into the Christmas recess.

Senator Ted Cruz has proposed an amendment that would trigger spending cuts in some areas if revenue growth is not as high as hoped, while Senator Bob Corker has led the charge on the proposal to build in a trigger that would increase tax rates if growth is not as high as needed.

Republican leadership in the Senate has indicated they expect a vote at around 11 AM today.

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