ISSAlert December 1, 2017

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Senate Tax Package Heading for Vote on Floor

Senate GOP leaders indicated early this morning that they are close to securing the 50 votes they need to pass the tax reform package pending in that legislative body.

One of the GOP holdouts was Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) who said he now planned to back the Senate tax reform package due to a major concession.  Key in securing Johnson’s support was a move by GOP leaders to expand tax cuts for millions of businesses such as S-Corps and LLCs known as pass-throughs.  These are companies that pass their income on to partners, owners and investors, which in turn pay taxes on the earnings through the individual tax portion of the tax code.

Senate GOP leaders had proposed allowing these investors to deduct 17.4 percent of their income from their taxes and then pay taxes on the remaining income.  Sen. Johnson and others continued to push for greater concessions for pass-throughs, and GOP leaders reluctantly raised the deduction level to 20 percent.  However, Sen. Johnson continued holding out, and earlier today GOP leaders suggested the deduction had been raised to 23 percent.

Republicans control 52 votes in the 100-seat Senate, and they need 50 votes in order to pass their tax reform package.  Vice President Pence has indicated he will serve as the tie breaker.  That means the GOP can only afford to lose two votes if they want to pass the bill because all Democrats have indicated they will oppose the measure.

As of this morning, GOP leaders still needed to win the backing from at least one more holdout before they can be assured they have enough votes to pass the bill.  Nonetheless, votes on the Senate tax reform package are expected later today.

ISSA thanks those members who contacted their Senators on the issue of pass-through businesses.  Your voices were heard!