Senate Republican tax writers are as sour as ever on the tax bill that overwhelmingly passed the House last week.
They’re demanding changes — including a markup — before even entertaining getting on board, as we first detailed in The Vault Tuesday night.
There are still signs of optimism for the bipartisan $80 billion package of business tax breaks and an expanded child tax credit, including some public GOP support from outside the Senate Finance Committee.
But with a bloc of Finance Committee Republicans holding firm against the measure, some senators are wary of the procedural pitfalls that lie ahead.
Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), a Finance member, told us he’s “very awake to the reality” that his Senate colleagues will need changes to the bill if it has any shot of moving forward. Here’s Young:
No decision has been made on whether to hold a committee markup, according to a source familiar with the situation. Amendment votes could get tricky fast, with just a one-seat majority for Democrats on the panel.
“I sure wouldn’t want folks that just want to somehow stop this tax relief from trying to have some way to do that,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) told us of the Republican request.
All this comes on top of a crush of bigger Senate priorities that make expending floor time or political capital on the tax bill more complicated.
Some hope for tax backers: Outside the Finance Committee, some GOP senators are ready to take the deal from Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and House Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith (R-Mo.). Others say they’re open to the bill, or offered some praise.
“There’s win-win opportunities in this,” said Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.). “It’s so important for farmers back home, for small businesses back home. And I think Republicans need to lean into the childcare issue. This is pro-family.”
Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) said even though he’s open to GOP-backed edits if possible, he supports the tax bill as is.
Still, concerns from key players loom large. Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.) said he has no position yet. Schmitt added that listening to Finance Committee ranking member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) “is going to be very important in this whole thing.”
— Laura Weiss