Maybe we should be used to this by now. The equation on Capitol Hill goes like this: looming deadlines + now-customary brinksmanship = wild days like today, when President Trump and Democratic leaders sparred over talks to prevent a government shutdown next month while Senate Republicans worked to negotiate changes that would convince key holdouts to support their tax bill.
In the meantime, the Senate Budget Committee voted 12-11 along party lines to send the tax bill to the Senate floor, with two Republicans who had voiced concerns about the bill, Sens. Bob Corker and Ron Johnson, both voting yes.
- Johnson said he voted to send the tax bill to the Senate floor based on progress being made toward increasing the tax break for pass-through businesses. “I’m getting commitments we are going to get this fixed,” he said.
- Corker said he voted to advance the bill after reaching a deal with tax writers “on a broad outline for a revenue trigger provision that he and other GOP senators are seeking,” Bloomberg reported.
- And after Trump joined Senate Republicans for a policy lunch, Sen. Susan Collins said she was increasingly positive about the tax bill and the prospects of adding a deduction for up to $10,000 in property taxes. “I believe that a lot of my concerns, it appears, are going to be addressed and that I’m going to be getting the opportunity to offer amendments on the senate floor,” she said, according to The New York Times.
If this is The Art of the Deal in D.C., it doesn’t often look very artful. But Senate Republicans appear to be making progress in getting to their magic number of 50.